Last week, a number of local families and adults came together at Colchester United for a day of sporty fun to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes, in a special event organised by the type 1 diabetes charity JDRF.
The JDRF Type 1 Discovery Day and One Fun Run event was a chance for local people affected by the autoimmune condition type 1 diabetes to come together and hear speeches and take part in fun activities.
The event was kindly supported by Colchester United Football Club as their first event with the charity as part of their community outreach.
100 adults and children with type 1 diabetes and their families attended. Speakers included Dr Zoe Stewart, from the University of Cambridge and Andrew Kerr, who is a member of Team Novo Nordisk – an elite cycling team who all live with type 1 diabetes.
Kevin Black, whose daughter has type 1, also spoke about how he and his family support the work of JDRF.
During the main speeches the children and teens got sporty with Colchester United Football in the Community Team. Children as young as three and up to 16 joined in with all the activities including cricket and football coaching.
In the afternoon, 35 children and young people and some parents took part in the One Fun Run around the outside of the stadium doing five laps equating to 2.5km.
There was much cheering from the sidelines to all the runners who raised a staggering £1,500 to support vital type 1 diabetes research.
Type 1 diabetes affects about 400,000 people in the UK, 29,000 of them children. It cannot yet be prevented, and is not linked to lifestyle factors. The condition develops when the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
People who live with type 1 rely on multiple insulin injections or pump infusions every day to stay alive. A child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of five faces up to 19,000 injections and 50,000 finger prick blood tests by the time they are 18.
JDRF exists to find the cure for type 1 by supporting research into the condition.
Celia Joseph, JDRF's Regional Fundraiser for the East of England, said: "This was a fantastic community event which provided a great opportunity for families and adults living with type 1 to meet others in a similar position.
"It was also great to be able to share some key research developments from JDRF-funded research which aims to find the cure for type 1 diabetes.
"Well done to all the children and young people who took part in the One Fun Run -everyone did brilliantly and it was so nice to see those who finished first cheer on all the other runners until the final person was across the line."
Matt Hudson, Media Manager at Colchester United said "We were delighted to team up with JDRF to help deliver this fantastic day at the stadium.
"Our Football in the Community coaches enjoyed meeting the many families who were in attendance and we are already looking forward to helping out with more events and building a positive partnership with JDRF in the future."