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Teenagers from Stamford and Bourne are taking their type 1 diabetes expertise to Botswana



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Two teenage friends are taking their medical expertise overseas so that it can be shared with other young people.

Rachel Dudley and Edward Hall both have type 1 diabetes, which they have learned to monitor using mobile technology.

Each carries a small pump which supplies their body with background insulin all the time through a tiny tube. They also wear a glucose monitor that sends readings to a mobile app and will alert them if their blood sugar level is too low or too high.

Edward Hall and Rachel Dudley are raising awareness of type 1 diabetes
Edward Hall and Rachel Dudley are raising awareness of type 1 diabetes

The technology lets them lead normal lives - both attend Bourne Grammar School, with Rachel, 15, working towards GCSEs and Edward, 18, in his final year of A-levels.

Although they are keen to ensure the condition doesn’t define who they are, Rachel and Edward are part of a diabetes group that lets them discuss the ups and downs of the condition with other young people who have it.

Rachel, who lives in Morton, said: “We’re members of the East of England Paediatric Diabetes Network, and through this we attend camps every so often, and have the opportunity to talk with other young people who know what it is like to have type 1 diabetes.”

An insulin pump can be used to give background insulin, regulating blood-sugar
An insulin pump can be used to give background insulin, regulating blood-sugar

It was also through the group that Rachel and 18-year-old Edward, who lives in Stamford, heard about the opportunity to go to Botswana for a diabetic education camp.

Although Botswana has modern healthcare in its urban areas, support for type 1 diabetes is not as advanced.

The pair went through a rigorous interview process to be selected for the camp, and while in Africa they will be expected to give presentations about the way they manage their diabetes to stay in good health.

They will travel there in 2023 with about a dozen teenagers who have type 1 diabetes and about 20 doctors and nurses. The trip is part of the Cambridge Global Health Partnerships run by Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust.

Finger prick tests to monitor blood-sugar levels are still used in the UK, but glucose monitors are providing a more comfortable and constant alternative
Finger prick tests to monitor blood-sugar levels are still used in the UK, but glucose monitors are providing a more comfortable and constant alternative

Rachel and Edward each need to raise £3,000 to go on the trip, which they will work towards in £500 increments.

Edward, an accomplished tennis player, will start his fundraising by offering coaching in return for donations, while Rachel is looking at holding activities in the new year.

They have also set up fundraising pages at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Rachel-Dudley2 and www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Edward-Hall8



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