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UK teen with diabetes to meet Strasbourg MEPs

Sixteen-year-old Phillip Day from Widnes, Cheshire, will travel to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, to mark World Diabetes Day 2007.

His trip will be part of a series of activities involving young people from EU member states to raise diabetes awareness between 13 and 15 November.

Phillip, a supporter of Diabetes UK, will be the UK’s representative. He has lived with Type 1 diabetes for 13 years.

Phillip will be meeting other children with diabetes from all over Europe, as well as talking with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from the UK to discuss issues that children with diabetes face in schools.

“I received excellent support from my schools,” said Phillip.

“But I think that all children have the right to the same level of diabetes support that I had.”

Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, Douglas Smallwood, said: “Many European countries lack support measures to help children manage their diabetes while in school. This is an extremely important and urgent issue because, if not managed well, diabetes can lead to very serious complications such as blindness and heart disease.”

Phillip will also be talking to his MEPs about diabetes and driving - another area of concern for young people with the condition. Currently, the rules on driving with diabetes differ across the EU but this is now under review.

“People with diabetes should be individually assessed on their fitness to drive,” continued Mr Smallwood.

Phillip'’s mum, Lynne Day, is chair of the local Widnes diabetes support group and will be accompanying Phillip on the trip. “My son has been given a great opportunity,” she said. “This trip will enable him to show children with diabetes that you can still lead a very active life.”


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