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Family on a mission to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes in children

Hollie Harris from our Shropshire Borders Group has raised over 2,000 for Diabetes UK after son Callum was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Hollie, 37, lives in Powys but attends our Shropshire group. Her son Callum, aged nine, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in January 2023.

Prior to his diagnosis, Callum had been more tired than normal, had lost weight and he was drinking and going to the toilet much more often, which are signs of type 1 diabetes. Hollie knew that something was wrong so she rang the doctors and Callum ended up being rushed to Telford hospital.

Callum was off school for almost two months and Hollie felt people didn’t understand how serious type 1 diabetes can be. She said that NHS care has been good, but the family has to travel to Shrewsbury for appointments as there is no paediatric unit in Powys. 

It has had a massive impact on us as a family, but obviously more so for Callum. He is very good with his diabetes but he finds it hard to accept it, sometimes, asking 'why me?'"

Callum uses a Dexcom and an insulin pen and is on a waiting list for an insulin pump. Since his diagnosis, Hollie is happy that Callum has been able to meet other children with type 1 diabetes in Shrewsbury.

“Callum loves karate and enjoys his computers with his friends and going on days out with us and the diabetes group. The children and parents have been amazing."

Fundraising mission

Callum’s family decided that they needed to raise awareness of diabetes as some people thought “he would grow out of it”.

Hollie held a bingo event in the Welshpool town hall in December 2023 attracting 200 people with local businesses and companies donating on the night.

Morrisons, where Hollie works match funded £1,000 and HSBC also contributed. In total they raised £4,133 to be split between Diabetes UK and the local support group.

Celene James, Diabetes UK West Midlands Community Fundraiser, said:

“Hollie and her family have been really ambitious, spreading awareness to ensure everyone in their community understands the condition, whilst continuing to fundraise for Diabetes UK and the Local Family Group. I’m so excited and grateful that I can continue supporting the family as they continue their journey.”

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