I am eight years old. I’m swimming 10.5 miles because I would love for JDRF to find a cure for type 1 diabetes

Author: Lizzie's story | Posted: 17 January 2017

I don’t remember things before I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It happened four years ago, when I was four years old.Lizzie Elliott

When I was in hospital I remember having injections every morning and I didn’t like them. Ten days later, I was lucky enough to trial a pump and I preferred it.

Four years on I still have a pump and am getting used to having my cannulas changed every three days. Recently, I even did it by myself!

Type 1 diabetes is ok, but it can be annoying at times because I have to miss part of my lesson to test my blood glucose levels. If I have low blood glucose levels, I have lemonade or energy tablets. My favourite flavours are orange and lemon. Sometimes I sense that I am low because I either have a headache or a fizzy tongue, sometimes both. If I have high levels, I also sense it because I feel really thirsty and need the toilet a lot.

There is a great team of people around me who help me, including nurses at my local hospital who organise events where we can meet other children who have type 1. Now I am old enough I can go to some of the days by myself and when I go, we learn lots about the condition and I understand it more. It also helps me make friends with other children with type 1 diabetes.

My family also supports me. My younger sisters sometimes get mummy or daddy if they think I am low. They also go and get lemonade or sugar tablets. I haven’t let them test me yet though!

Two years ago at school I asked if we could have a #TypeOnesie day as there are lots of people in my school who are affected by diabetes. I nearly didn’t make it on the day though as I had high ketones, but in the end I managed to get in! One of the teaching assistants came round with me to every class and we talked to the children about what it’s like to have type 1.

swim-challen
The distances of the JDRF Sponsored Swim

This year, I have decided to take part in the JDRF Sponsored Swim and I am going to swim 10.5 miles (the distance of half the English Channel). I have to swim 672 lengths over the course of 12 weeks.

I am doing this to help raise money to help JDRF. I love swimming and go three times a week. I know it is good for me to keep healthy.

I would love for JDRF to find a cure, so that I wouldn’t have to keep testing myself and having cannula changes.

I also want to do this to stop other people from getting type 1 diabetes.

I hope the money I raise will help this happen.

To sponsor Lizzie and help support type 1 diabetes research please click here.

Are you interested in taking part in the JDRF Sponsored Swim?

If you've been inspired by Lizzie and wish to take part in your own swim challenge to make a splash for type 1 diabetes please click the link below.

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