Type 1 diabetes often occurs in childhood and is when your body can’t produce enough insulin, the cause is unknown and has to be managed with insulin injections. Unlike Type 2 diabetes it is not caused by obesity or lifestyle. If untreated it can cause nerve damage, heart disease, blindness and even strokes. The peak age for diagnosis is between 10 and 14 years of age.
In 2018, VisitHealth set out to raise awareness of both type 1 and 2 diabetes, after hearing the story of a girl called Tizzy. Tizzy was just a normal, active teenager. Until one night her parents were horrified as her hands and feet turned blue and she collapsed, unconscious. Tizzy was rushed to A&E and they soon realised that Tizzy’s organs were in shutdown. She was experiencing DKA, Diabetic Ketoacidosis and was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
She now, aged 13, has to manage her insulin levels day and night. Tizzy has had to learn about monitoring and injecting insulin. The levels are not only influenced by food, but also by stress, exercise and other factors that need to be considered.
This will be a life-long challenge for Tizzy and it seemingly came from nowhere. That’s why we decided to carry out a community initiative at Tizzy’s old school, Penwortham in Wandsworth, to increase awareness and test children for diabetes.
We offered screenings to pupils and teachers for the early signs of Diabetes. Donations were taken for the tests and were given to DRF to continue their vital work in trying to find a cure for Type 1 which currently has the UK has the fifth-highest rate in the world.
The day was a great success with some kind words from the head mistress of the school:
“The diabetes checks ran really smoothly, the children were spoken to with kindness and respect. I couldn’t recommend Visithealth enough, all of the staff ensured that the children felt safe and happy and allowed parents to join children when they were a bit nervous about having their diabetes check. From organisation to execution the team couldn’t do enough to help and were really knowledgeable. It was such a positive experience.”
Not only did we raise awareness and funds for diabetes, after receiving their test results 2 children have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. To learn more about how your children can get tested, call us on 02077769096 or visit our website at https://visithealth.london/product/diabetic-profile-1
Need help with your own community health initiative? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to see if we can help.