A grandmother-of-10, who also has one great-grandaughter, has held a 'farewell party' to raise awareness of the seriousness of type 2 diabetes, despite battling complications from the condition including kidney failure, nerve damage and loss of eyesight.
Maxine (pictured above) from Harlow, who also has one great grandaughter, was diagnosed with diabetes 20 years ago. Her daughter Donna, who also lives in Harlow, worked with her sisters Stacey and Lindsey and brother Tommas to ensure the party was everything their mother dreamed it would be.
If just one family can benefit from hearing my mum’s story then she would be really pleased.
"When mum was told how seriously ill she was at the end of last year, she said she wanted to hold a ‘farewell party’ for all her friends and family,” said Donna.
“She is a wonderful woman and very well-known and loved in the community, she wanted a big get-together to say thank you for all the support she has had over the years as she battled the complications of her diabetes."
“We are raising money for Diabetes UK, but my mum is really keen that as many people as possible understand how serious the condition can be.
“She really didn’t understand what she faced if she didn’t monitor her eating and health in general. She didn’t get any advice or offers of education when she was first diagnosed and was pretty much left to get on with it."
The invite only party was held in January 2017 at Paringdon Sports and Social Club, in Paringdon Road. Harlow band Triple X performed and local restaurant Willetts Real Smokehouse provided some food for party guests and a raffle prize.
Donna’s friend Tara Grant shaved her head on the night to boost the fundraising efforts.
Diabetes UK Eastern Fundraiser, Teresa Strange, said: “We are so grateful to Maxine and her whole family for the amazing effort they are making to raise money for Diabetes UK. Even as Maxine faces her own health battle, she is thinking of others by arranging this event and raising awareness of the condition.
”There are more than 4.5 million people living with diabetes in the UK and 1 million of them are unaware they have type 2 diabetes as they are yet to be diagnosed. There are also 11.9 million people in the UK at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
"This situation has reached a crisis point, with much disparity in care across the country and people facing often preventable complications through lack of education or access to vital care."