A CAMPAIGN to wipe out a children’s waiting list for specialist diabetic insulin pumps has raised nearly triple its original target of £20,000.
Pumps 4 Kids, a joint initiative by the Manx Independent newspaper and the Manx Diabetic Group, has transformed the lives of children with type 1 diabetes, offering them the chance of pump therapy instead of multiple daily injections of lifesaving insulin.
The community campaign was launched in March and we gave ourselves until the end of December to reach our target. We’ve raised more than £55,000 to date, and the money is still coming in.
Manx Independent editor Richard Butt said: ‘The response from readers has been overwhelming. There’s been huge public support but this would not have been a success without close liaison between the newspaper, the Manx Diabetic Group and the dedicated staff at Noble’s Hospital. It’s been a great team effort.’
The success of the campaign means that no child who is suitable for pump therapy, which uses a cannula in place of four to five injections a day, will have to wait. The newer pump technology is less traumatic than multiple daily injections and leads to better control of the condition, for which there is no cure.
Joanne Wilkinson, whose daughter Danielle, now seven, helped launch Pumps 4 Kids in March, said: ‘When Danielle started using an insulin pump just over four years ago not only did it make a significant difference to her quality of life but also made the daily management of type 1 diabetes easier for the whole family. It’s fantastic that the campaign has exceeded its goal and has been able to help so many other families in this way.’
Douglas teenager Peter Killey, 13, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in May 2012 and, thanks to the campaign, received his pump in September.
Mum Jackie said: ‘Without Pumps 4 Kids Peter would still be on injections. The pump has given him back his freedom. You can live life normally. We can reduce or increase his insulin when we need to without worrying that he’s getting too much. For parents, that’s the biggest thing. There’s still so much for us to learn but there is now a wonderful sense of freedom.’
For children who are afraid of needles, pump therapy has helped them cope with their diagnosis.
Paediatric diabetes specialist nurse at Noble’s Hospital, Pam Unsworth said: ‘We saw a newly diagnosed girl just before Christmas who hates needles. It’s been brilliant to be able to put her straight on to a pump now there is no longer a waiting list. The campaign has helped children who are newly diagnosed as well as children who have had diabetes for a long time.
‘It was important that the hospital authorities supported the campaign, which they have fully backed all along. It could not have been a success otherwise. For the families, they see the benefits within two or three days of getting a pump. It really is great being able to offer a pump to a family when the time is right for them to have one.’