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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Teens with Type 1 take to the skies

Two teenagers with Type 1 diabetes took on a 12,000-foot skydive to show that the condition will not stop them reaching new heights.

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Kara Clarke, from Port Talbot and Amy Brown, from Pontardawe, were both diagnosed aged 12. They became close friends after meeting at Type1derful, a Diabetes UK Cymru family support group.

Now both 16, the girls will soon be moving to a young adult clinic. They wanted to mark the transition with a special fundraising challenge.

“My world turned upside down”

Kara said, “I went to the doctor for something unrelated. He noticed my lips were dry and suggested I drink plenty of fluids. My mum told him I drank a lot already. He did a finger-prick test and referred me to hospital. I was diagnosed later that day. My world turned upside down.

“Neither of us was aware of the common symptoms of Type 1 diabetes, like being thirsty, needing the toilet, feeling tired and getting thinner, or how serious the condition can be.”

“Learning to balance everything has been tough. No two days are the same. Amy and I use insulin pumps and Continuous Glucose Monitors to help us keep a close eye on our blood glucose levels.”

One big family

The girls’ families were told about Type1derful soon after being diagnosed and joined straight away.

Kara continued, “The group is amazing. We have made new friends and learned how others deal with the condition. It arranges trips and days out and offers our parents lots of advice. They’re like a big family.

“We wanted to do something big to thank the group for all the support since we were first diagnosed. We also wanted to show that Type 1 does not define us and that we can do anything – including jump out of a plane!”

The girls and Amy’s dad Gareth Brown completed the skydive on Sunday 4 August at Swansea Airport.

Our Fundraising Manager, Joseph Cuff, said, “Our family support groups are a real lifeline for families all over Wales, offering friendship, information, and advice from those who really understand the challenges involved in life with Type 1 diabetes.

“It’s fantastic to see Amy and Kara have formed such a close friendship and refused to let their diagnoses hold them back from truly reaching for the skies! Congratulations to them both on completing such an incredible challenge.

To sponsor Amy and Kara, click here.

Type1derful supports families of children with Type 1 diabetes across Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot. Find out more here.

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