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Mari, 9, is Inspire Awards’ youngest winner

Mari Haf Davies from Dinas Cross in Pembrokeshire may be only 9, but she is already inspiring others with her support for Diabetes UK Cymru.

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Mari’s brother Liam, 21, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at just 20 months old. Liam tragically passed away in October 2016 as a result of a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

Mari, a Year 5 pupil at Ysgol Bro Ingli, wrote to schools across Pembrokeshire, asking them to take part in a non-uniform day on World Diabetes Day. Four took part, including Ysgol Bro Ingli and Liam's former junior school Ysgol Glannau Gwaun in Fishguard, raising more than £700!

An outstanding contribution

This impressive total and Mari’s commitment to raising awareness of the seriousness of Type 1 diabetes saw her win the Young Person’s Outstanding Contribution Award at the Inspire Awards on Saturday 19 May.

The Inspire Awards recognise the achievements of our dedicated volunteers, who raise awareness and funds to support the 191,000 people across Wales living with diabetes.

Mari was presented with her award by Kath Abrahams, Diabetes UK’s Director of Engagement and Fundraising, and Paediatric Diabetes Consultant Dr Justin Warner, in front of her proud parents and sister Amy.

Mari’s mum, Shirley Jones, said, “After Liam passed away we did quite a bit of fundraising for Diabetes UK Cymru as a family. Mari decided she wanted to organise her own event. She decided on a "go blue" day for World Diabetes Day last November.

“Thanks to Mari’s hard work the event raised more than £707. We were so proud of her for wanting to do something to support other families like ours."

'We were surprised and delighted when we found out Mari had been nominated for the award and totally shocked when she won it.'

"We just want Liam to be remembered and everything we do is in his memory.”

Our director, Dai Williams said, “There were some very strong nominees in this category, but our judging panel praised her creative approach and commitment to raising awareness, as well as funds. Her efforts are sure to inspire others, as well as create a great legacy for Liam. Congratulations Mari, and thank you!”

Find out more information about volunteering for Diabetes UK Cymru here.

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