Gorefield girl inspires £6,500 fundraiser for diabetes

Erin Richmond who has type 1 diabetes and they are trying to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes. ANL-150416-062740009
Erin Richmond who has type 1 diabetes and they are trying to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes. ANL-150416-062740009

A nine-year-old girl has inspired her family to raise £6,500 for a diabetes charity.

Erin Richmond was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was just five years-old but the youngster refuses to let it hold her back.

The UK has a total of 400,000 people with type 1 diabetes and 29,000 of those are children.

Erin has to do eight to 10 finger prick blood glucose tests a day to check her levels and was having about five insulin injections until the introduction of a pump two years ago.

There is currently no cure for type 1 diabetes, which is a naturally occurring condition when the pancreas fails to produce insulin.

But Erin’s parents Rachael and Wesley, along with other relatives and friends, have raised £6,500 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund during a Valentine’s Day Ball.

Mrs Richmond, of Gorefield, said: “Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong illness and they are pretty close to finding a cure.

“Diabetes is a hidden illness. We were absolutely ecstatic to have raised so much money.”

Erin’s condition was diagnosed in 2011 after the family had returned from a holiday and Mrs Richmond noticed that she was drinking more. She got through three litres in one day.

A trip to the doctors resulted in Erin and her mum being sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn when the family were given a crash course in diabetes.

She is constantly having hypos, which is a low blood sugar, and the high levels, hyper.

As a child, Erin is allowed to eat pretty much what she likes but her parents do keep a close eye and weigh her carbohydrate intake.

Mrs Richmond said: “She is not a massive sweet fan but loves fruit which has natural sugars.

“The hospital want her to be a child, which I think is fantastic. When she is older we will rein it in.

“We have adapted to it as you don’t have a choice.

“Erin is fantastic. She has her bad days but adapted to it.”

Mrs Richmond has been raising awareness of the condition and advises parents to see a doctor if they have any concerns.

She will be doing a skydive later this year for the diabetes group at Lynn.