Rawdon schoolgirl to tell Parliament about diabetes

Gracie with MP Stuart Andrew who has helped the schoolgirl prepare for the event at Westminster

Gracie with MP Stuart Andrew who has helped the schoolgirl prepare for the event at Westminster

First published in News Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A Rawdon schoolgirl who has type 1 diabetes is to speak about the condition in Parliament.

Twelve-year-old Gracie Spandler will be part of a delegation to Westminster after being chosen as an ambassador by a diabetes research charity.

Gracie, who goes to Horsforth School, wants to raise funds to help find a cure, and is also hoping to raise awareness.

She put herself forward as an ambassador for the JDRF research charity and had to compete for a place on the ‘Type 1 Parliament’ lobbying event. She will be one of 60 adults and children taking part in the event in April.

The schoolgirl, who raised more than £400 for the charity with a coffee morning in February, said she was pleased to have been chosen for the lobby.

“It means I can help to raise awareness about Type 1, but especially to improve the chances of finding a cure – to speed it up,” she said. “That is really why I am doing it – to get a cure.”

Gracie is being supported by her MP Stuart Andrew, who attended the coffee morning after she contacted him. He has also agreed to go to the lobbying event in London.

Gracie’s mum Briony said the MP had been very helpful: “Stuart Andrew has been in regular touch with Gracie and came round to see her after she wrote to him.”

She said her daughter wanted to make a contribution to finding a cure. She said: “It is a hard daily regime for any child to have to cope with. The spontaneity is taken away and that is not fair for a child.

“This has given her something positive to focus on. I am really proud of Gracie and so is her dad.”

She said when Gracie’s diabetes was diagnosed they were told a cure could be found within her lifetime.

“It has certainly given our family drive to try to contribute and try to help because if it is achievable they need to fund the research – and the money available from the Government is not enough,” she said.

Type 1 diabetes is a serious auto-immune condition that causes the body’s immune system to turn on itself and attack cells in the pancreas, which produce insulin.

The condition affects about 300,000 adults in the UK, including more than 26,000 children and requires multiple daily insulin injections.

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