A Fleet teenager and his family will be climbing Mount Snowden in May to raise funds for Diabetes UK.
14-year-old Branden Papworth is raising funds after he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2013 when he was nine. He will be taking on the mountain challenge with his parents Laughton and Laura Papworth who are experienced climbers.
Having diabetes doesn't stop me doing the things I love
Branden said: “Having Type 1 is tough. We have to think about it all the time and plan ahead every time we go out. But, I make sure diabetes doesn’t stop me doing the things I love, like my badminton club and Explorer scouts, and it certainly won’t stop me from climbing Snowden this year. I had the idea after we were given a school project to do a personal challenge that’s out of our comfort zone – well, climbing Snowden with Type 1 diabetes is exactly that! Just because you have diabetes, it doesn’t mean you can’t do what others do.
"Just look after yourself in the right way, and you can and will lead a normal life. The important thing is don’t get yourself down and think the world is ending for you. It’s not. Just relax and manage your diabetes, and you can enjoy doing things like mountain-climbing”.
People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable. It’s the most common type of diabetes in children and young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly. Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses – taken either by injections or via an insulin pump.
It really helps to talk about it
His father, Laughton Papworth, a Technical Manager for a Medical Devices company in Basingstoke, said: “We’re so proud of Branden – it was his idea to do the climb for Diabetes UK and we’ll be there to support him every step of the way. He’s very proactive about the condition and has even given a presentation at school about having Type 1 diabetes. His classmates now understand a bit more about it and it really helps to talk about it.”
Charlotte Harrison-Webb, Diabetes UK’s regional fundraiser in Hampshire, said: “Best of luck to Branden in May. His amazing fundraising will raise funds for Diabetes UK’s research into pioneering treatments which help save lives.
“Diabetes is serious. Every day, around 700 people are diagnosed with diabetes. When diabetes is not well managed it can lead to serious complications including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and amputations.”