Keira, 8, is inspiration for diabetes aid event in Shrewsbury

A Shrewsbury woman has chosen National Diabetes Day to launch her charity event – inspired by a little girl who she helps each day.

Lucy Wagner and Keira Diavati, eight, of St George’s Primary School, are promoting the National Diabetes Day fundraiser
Lucy Wagner and Keira Diavati, eight, of St George’s Primary School, are promoting the National Diabetes Day fundraiser

Keira Diavati is just eight years old, but each day she has to undergo injections and tests to keep her healthy as she suffers from type 1 diabetes.

Her story has touched her one-to-one school carer Lucy Wagner, a 36-year-old mother of two, so much that she has decided to organise a night of music to raise money for local diabetes groups.

Keira, a pupil at St George’s School in Copthorne, was diagnosed in 2010 and a diabetic insulin pump was fitted to her stomach in 2011. She has to count every carbohydrate after first weighing food and activities are severely limited in case the pump becomes detached or freezes up in very cold weather.

Lucy, who has arranged for The Ronaldo’s, made up of former T’Pau guitarist Ron Rogers and fellow band members Ian Rowley, Simon Hunter and Rich Jones, to play on the night.

She said: “I have been working with Keira for just over a year now and got to know her through my son Harry, who is in her class at school. I help her at lunchtimes and make sure she is OK.

“Since she was diagnosed in 2010, she and her family have shown amazing bravery dealing with the traumas which the illness creates.

“School trips are often not possible for her. She and other children with this debilitating illness suffer hugely from being isolated from mainstream activities.

“The treatment which they receive at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital is amazing, the care and treatment given to Keira and children like her helps keep them and their parents positive about this awful illnes, and gives them the support and confidence to carry on.

“Keira is so excited that she is going to be in the paper she says she’s going to be famous. She is an adorable little girl who has to put up with so much, as not many people know about diabetes unless they, or a family member, have it.”

The bash is being held on December 6 at the Darwin Community Centre in Frankwell. Lucy is looking for local firms to sponsor the event and has secured a promise from Barclays Bank that it will match fund all money raised.

Lucy, who grew up in Frankwell, said: “Ticket sales are going well and I’m thrilled that Barclays Bank Shrewsbury  is going to support us and match fund whatever we raise. It will be an amazing night, and in the true spirit of Christmas we will be helping others, and in doing so enjoying ourselves.”

Tickets cost £10 and includefood. Tickets are available from Lucy on 07971 041434 or (01743) 357566.

Type 1 diabetes is a form of diabetes that results from autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. The subsequent lack of insulin leads to increased blood and urine glucose.

Comments for: "Keira, 8, is inspiration for diabetes aid event in Shrewsbury"

PJS

Good luck to them for the event - the diabetes care at the RSH is very good indeed.

A couple of minor points though - 'The subsequent lack of insulin leads to increased blood and urine glucose.' is something of an understatement in type 1 diabetes - without insulin, blood glucose rises very quickly to dangerous levels - hence the need for insulin to be added via an external device.

One of the many good things about insulin pumps is that they take away the need for regular daily injections, so hopefully Keira no longer needs these now she has a pump. They do need a change of cannula every few days though, which does involve a needle, and, being permanently attached, there is always the risk of inadvertently yanking out the cannula.

Pumps are extremely sophisticated and afford a far better level of control especially for children whose insulin needs naturally change as they grow - it's a great pity that the NHS doesn't have more funding for them.