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Annabel's story: inspiring others by walking London Bridges Challenge

Annabelle to walk London Bridges Challenge


Diagnosed age 9.

Annabel is an inspiration to others. Life for her is tough, but she takes on every challenge and keeps a positive attitude towards her new way of life.

After being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, Annabel was rushed to hospital with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), but now almost two years later she will be taking part in the London Bridges Challenge with her mother, Joanne, and a friend.

Journey with diabetes

Annabel's journey with diabetes

  • Annabel was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 9 years old
  • After her mum, Joanne, took her to see a doctor for a potential sickness bug, Annabel was rushed to A&E immediately by ambulance with DKA
  • Joanne, Annabel and friends are taking part in the London Bridges Challenge 2019 to raise funds to further research and technology for people affected by diabetes


    Living with a child that has type 1 diabetes isn't the easiest

    Annabel was 9 when she was diagnosed completely out of the blue. She was a happy, healthy child who was very active and rarely ill. It’s only now that I look back on her diagnosis that I can see the early signs and the important four T’s: ‘Toilet, Thirsty, Tired and Thinner’.

    One Monday morning in October, Annabel woke up saying she didn’t feel well. I kept her off school thinking she was burnt out from the school dance and netball. She had lost some weight, but she’s one of those children whose weight fluctuated. I remember my sister and a close friend noticing how she had lost weight recently, but I didn't think anything of it at the time. I knew on that Monday that she she wasn't right but I couldn't work out what it was, diabetes was the last thing I'd think of.

    On Tuesday she stayed at home again and seemed okay; I thought it was a 48-hour bug and that she would be back in school the next day. However, that night she came into our room and was very ill, to which I assumed she must have a sickness bug. But it wasn't until the following day that I knew it was something more serious. She couldn't keep anything down, was very sleepy and her breathing was very rapid.


    Annabel was blue lighted to hospital

    I phoned the doctor to ask for advice and they asked to see her. After one look at her and assessing her urine sample, they told us Annabel had diabetes and immediately phoned for an ambulance. Annabel was blue lighted to hospital and diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and suffering from DKA. Her life and ours was turned upside down in that very moment. Our beautiful baby girl was incredibly ill. We were lucky and thankful to the NHS staff for our girl’s recovery.

    I never thought a child of mine at the age of almost 11 would have me up at 3am again, but it’s just a part of what we’ve got to do now. Type 1 is so complicated that it’s like having a new born again, she’s had to learn so much and there’s so much for us to be aware of and monitor. Watching Annabel having to go through the daily challenges of life that we take for granted is not easy as a parent.


    Annabel is an inspiration to others

    Every parent wants the best for their child, so when you get thrown a curve ball like this, it’s devastating for the entire family. Even Annabel’s five year old sister is becoming very aware of Annabel’s needs, and has even run to get her kit when Annabel has had a hypo.

    We want to give back and raise money for Diabetes UK, hence why we are taking part in the London Bridges Challenge 2019.

    Annabel and I, along with a close friend and her children, are going to walk 10 miles across London and cross 12 bridges in order to raise funds for research into diabetes. Diabetes is a life-long condition, but the money raised can help develop new, life-changing technology. Annabel now has a sensor that helps monitor her blood glucose and reduce the number of times she needs to finger prick.

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