Wirral teen lobbies MPs over Type 1 Diabetes

Wirral teen lobbies MPs over Type 1 Diabetes

13-year-old Abigail Clynch with Wirral South MP Alison McGovern in London.

3-year-old Abigail Clynch with fellow campaigners in London as part of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund #countmein campaign.

First published in News
Last updated
Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A YOUNG Wirral schoolgirl has joined the campaign to fight for better research of Type 1 diabetes.

Abigail Clynch was just 12-years-old when she was diagnosed with the life threatening condition in November 2012 and despite the devastation it caused, she decided to stay positive and work towards raising awareness of the illness.

When Abigail, now 13, spotted an open application on the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF) website for a place on Type 1 Parliament 2014, she jumped at the chance, thinking she would never get picked.

But she did and on Tuesday, the Upton Hall School pupil was one of 60 diabetes sufferers from across the country who lobbied MPs as part of JDRF’s #countmein campaign.

The charity argued for more money to be spent on the condition, which currently costs the UK an estimated £1.9bn a year in treatment costs.

Mum Kerry said: “When Abigail was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in November 2012 we were absolutely devastated.

“It’s a life threatening condition that requires a minimum of five injections of insulin and at least seven finger prick tests per day plus balancing life and carb counting on top.

“There are an estimated 134 children on the Wirral with diabetes and they are all looked after by Dr Joseph and his team at Arrowe Park Hospital.

“They all experience ‘hypos’ and ‘hyper’ on a weekly, if not daily basis, and it was that that made Abigail want to fight for better awareness of the condition, better medical advanced and, if possible, a cure.

“It’s just so important that there is enough funding for research.”

Abigail was joined in London by Wirral South MP Alison McGovern, who agreed to help when Frank Field MP was unavailable to attend.

The MP met with Abigail prior to the event to discuss how complicated life can be living with the condition and went through the medical kit the teenager has to use each day of her life to stay alive.

“Alison McGovern was absolutely amazing with Abigail. She met Abigail again on the day and spent another hour discussing Type 1 and explaining how Parliament works,” said Kerry.

“I think it would be nice for other children to see that they don’t have to just sit back and take this and they can make their lives better – that’s what we want.”

On the day an estimated 60 MPs attended the lobby and were asked to write to David Willetts MP to investigate why the UK Government's spending on Type 1 research is much lower than our international counterparts. 

The campaign has been warmly received and supported by big names including actor Jude Law. It can be followed on Twitter at #countmein.

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