THE cousin of a teenager who tragically died of undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes has taken her awareness campaign all the way to Downing Street.
Last month the Advertiser told the tragic story of 16-year-old Ormskirk School pupil Jenny Kitching, from Halsall, who fell into a coma and died from the condition after her GCSEs last September.
Her cousin Selina Gill, along with Jenny’s parents, is now seeking to raise awareness of the condition in children to save others from what she calls the “silent killer”.
As part of their campaign, she penned a dossier of information highlighting what she believes is a dangerous lack of focus on diabetes within the education system and sent it to Prime Minister David Cameron.
And this week she received a letter back from his office thanking her for the letter along with a promise of a prompt reply to her concerns.
Selina, a qualified nurse who lives in Burscough, said: “I’m pleased to have started the ball rolling on this and hopefully it will lead to changes.
“I wanted to make Mr Cameron aware of the importance of this issue, and hope that he will at least consider making school health checks for diabetes compulsory.
“A simple annual finger prick blood test could diagnose diabetes at an early stage, allowing for diagnosis and treatment that Jenny tragically did not get.”
Selina is fundraising for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund, and has organised an event in Jenny’s name at Scarisbrick Village Hall on Saturday May 19.
She has recently received an invitation to speak at the charity’s lobbying event at the Houses of Parliament later this month, as part of a push to secure more funding for Type 1 research.
And she said: “It’s brilliant that the topic of juvenile diabetes is being brought to Westminster. We want families in West Lancs to be aware of the symptoms, such as extreme thirst, weight loss and frequent urination to help prevent other families going through what we have.”
To support Selina’s fundraising night visit http://on.fb.me/Hcia5X