15 year old boy has dedicated his life to helping others with type 1 diabetes

George Dove of Ashfield Avenue was told he had the condition of diabetes three-years-ago when a viral infection affecting his immune system and pancreas developed into the disease. He must constantly monitor his blood sugar levels as well as take injections of insulin four times a day. But despite all of this, George has spent the year working with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), which works with young people and aims to find a cure for type one diabetes.

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George was asked to speak at the Nottinghamshire STARS award and he did a speech about diabetes and how it has affected his life.

“I have type 1 diabetes. That means my pancreas is not creating enough insulin. Living with type 1 is hard, although I don’t let it stop me doing anything, I just have to be more organized. I have to check my blood sugar around 8 to 10 times a day and I am attached to an insulin pump 24/7.

“It took me 4 years to get my insulin pump and it changed my life. The difference was amazing. It gives me the blood sugar control I need. They say I have a reduced life expectancy of between 15 and 20 years and could face long-term complications with my heart, lungs, liver, not to mention amputations and blindness. So as you can see having control of my condition is essential to protect me long term.

“The pump also gave me a lot of my life back, and gave me a ’cause.’ I raise awareness of insulin pumps and help other children gain access to them so they don’t have to wait as long as I did. I feel that all children should have access to an insulin pump should they want one.”

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As well as speaking at the STARS awards, George was invited to speak at the JDRF’s AGM meeting by the JDRF to be the first child in the country to try the new Bayer DIDGET — a device for measuring blood sugar which plugs into a Nintendo DS handset, rewarding youngsters by unlocking new levels and games when they successfully maintain their blood sugar levels.

George’s Mom Emma was really proud of him. She said that living with diabetes is difficult for George, but he always manages to put a positive slant on his illness.

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“Talking to one person could reach one hundred people. Remember that younger voices often have more impact so it’s kids like me who have to help make the difference. Everybody gets nervous as well, so don’t worry about that either, just keep going and you’ll make a huge difference.”

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