Family aims to help find a cure

Rachelle, Eva Grace and Iain, all living with type 1 diabetes, were the inspiration to raise money for JDRF and Diabetes UK.
Rachelle, Eva Grace and Iain, all living with type 1 diabetes, were the inspiration to raise money for JDRF and Diabetes UK.

A PETERHEAD family affected by diabetes is hoping to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Diabetes UK.

Eva Grace Bowie who is now four, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of just two. Now her mum and dad, Deborah and Fraser, are hoping to raise funds to support vital research towards finding a cure.

Fraser, a network engineer, told the Buchanie: “I got a call from Deborah in July 2010 to tell me she had taken Eva Grace round to see the doctor. He told her she had dangerously high sugar levels and ketones. She was rushed into Aberdeen Children’s Hospital and within two hours she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.”

Deborah added: “We knew a little about the condition and the implications it would have on our family as my twin brother Iain was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 21.

“Eva Grace now requires multiple injections of insulin a day just to keep her alive. Everything she eats and drinks has to be monitored and balanced out with her insulin intake. We have to check her blood sugar levels between four and six times a day which was difficult to begin with.”

The couple found out about the JDRF and the work they do - finding a cure and improving the life expectancy of those with diabetes.

Fraser continued: “We want to help the charity in any way we can so decided for some of the men in the family along with friends to get together and climb Mount Kilimanjaro.”

Fraser, along with Eva Grace’s granda, Iain Smith, uncle Iain Smith Jnr, and friends, Alex John Strachan, Colin Connell and Dan Field are making the climb on September 25 and all funds will go towards JDRF.

Eva Grace’s uncle Iain added: “Many things have changed over the years since I was diagnosed with diabetes, and I had to be very strict with my diet.

“I got my HGV licence taken away from me, which meant I could pursue my career dreams. These conditions are now being reconsidered and it’s reassuring to know things are getting better.

“I’m really looking forward to the climb and raising as much money as possible.”

Eva Grace’s auntie, Sharon West, suggested to Deborah that the girls take part in a fundraiser as well, which takes the form of ‘A Christmas Wishes Fayre’.

“When the guys said they were going to take on the climb, we couldn’t believe the response we got,” said Sharon.

“We’ve found out more and more people in Peterhead are living with the condition so by hosting an event at home, we can get the community involved as well. We chose to split the money between the JDRF and Diabetes UK as we know a lot of older people who have type 1 diabetes.”

Rachelle, a family friend of the Bowies, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 11, added: “I’ve learned to live with the condition, not that it’s easy. When I was told about the fundraising I was touched to be a part of it. It is my wish, and every other diabetic’s that there will be a cure for diabetes in the future. Hopefully the money raised can help get that bit closer.”