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Getting tested for type 1 diabetes: Prity's story

Prity and her son smile at the camera
"When you’re taking part in research and you know that you're helping people somewhere, it does feel good."

Prity’s son Avishay, aged 10 years, took part in the Diabetes UK and JDRF funded ELSA study to find out his future risk of developing type 1 diabetes. Prity told us their story.

Journey with diabetes

Our type 1 diabetes connection

Avishay told me about his school friend getting ill and they found out he had type 1 diabetes. I was surprised about Avishay's knowledge of type 1 diabetes and all that his friend has to do, like checking his blood sugar levels every lunch and injecting himself. And I thought oh wow, that's a lot for a little child.

When I heard about the ELSA study and that it was about type 1 diabetes, I told Avishay right away. I got sent a text message from the doctor surgery inviting us to take part. It said if you’ve got a child aged 3-13 years they could get screened to find out their risk of type 1 diabetes. So we talked about it as soon as Avishay came home from school and he said, ok let’s do this. He wanted to help research and he thought it was something he could do to help with diabetes, and help his friend.

I thought if he is at risk of type 1 diabetes I would rather know sooner, rather than when he could become ill and end up in hospital like his friend. You want to know before it gets serious.

So it wasn't something we took too long to decide about it really. As soon as we got the invite to take part, we thought it was a good idea.

Taking part in ELSA

I filled in the forms online and we had a chat with a lady before it all started. We got a kit sent through the mail and had to prick Avishay’s finger to get a few drops of blood. The first time we pricked his finger we could only get one tiny drop, so we had to have another go. But it wasn’t too tricky once we got the hand of it and it was really quick.

It was about a week before we heard back on the results. I got a text message first and then a letter in the post a couple of days later. They came back negative, so Avishay’s got a low risk of type 1 diabetes, which came as a relief.

Whenever I’ve heard about someone getting type 1 diabetes, they get ill first and end up in hospital. I didn’t realise there was any type of screening, so I was a bit surprised when I first heard about ELSA.

"Children are tested for lots of things when they’re born so it makes sense that they should be tested for type 1 diabetes too. It’s a shame that kids have had to end up in hospital when this screening could help avoid that."

When you’re taking part in research you know that you're helping people somewhere, it does feel good. Avishay wants to be a scientist now. He told me the other day he wants to find a cure for diabetes.

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