A mother has whose son was diagnosed with diabetes aged just seven-years-old has raised more than £10,000 in less than a year to help find a cure for the disease.
Karen Denholm, from Blantyre, said she was determined that Type 1 diabetes couldn’t “rule the life” of her boy Sam, who now has to inject himself with insulin six times a day.
Despite the shock of the diagnosis, Karen decided to press on and do something positive in the hope it would make a difference for her son and other sufferers.
She started to raise funds for JDRF Scotland, which is dedicated to finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes, with research projects in Dundee and Glasgow currently ongoing.
Ms Denholm, a fitness instructor and retail manager, said: She said: “When we first found out it was all quite surreal. We were quite scared but the staff were fantastic and Sam has been amazing. He has to inject himself six times a day and takes it all in his stride.
“There is a lot of misunderstanding around type 1. Getting it has nothing to do with lifestyle, it’s just luck. The symptoms and the consequences are not straightforward and if you allow yourself to think about it too much it could get really overwhelming.
“A lot needs to be done to educate people so when we were handed a JDRF pack at the hospital, I knew I wanted to be involved.”
Ms Denholm became concerned about her son’s health after he starting drinking excessive amounts of water and complaining of sore legs.
Sam was referred to hospital where it was discovered he had Type 1 Diabetes and his blood glucose levels were dangerously high.
Ms Denholm said: “It would have been very easy to wrap him up in cotton wool as soon as we had the diagnosis, but right from the start we encouraged him to deal with it and gain his own independence. If he wants to eat at a party we ask him what he needs to do and he thinks about it and gets on with it.
“Diabetes can’t rule his life so working with friends, family and JDRF, we will continue to fundraise in the hope we find a cure and look forward to the rest of his happy life.”
Karen has arranged several events in aid of JDRF and taken part in One Walk in Falkirk - organised by JDRF - for the past three years.
She said: “The One Walk is an opportunity to surround yourself with like-minded people; people who understand the challenges that type 1 diabetes brings into your world every day.
”What inspires my family about the 5k walk is the diversity of the participants; from babies in pushchairs to dogs on leashes.
”My family and I, including Sam, always look forward to the walk and once signed up we feel motivated to raise vital cash for JDRF knowing that our steps are taking them closer to finding a cure for Sam and everyone in the world who suffer from Type 1 Diabetes.”