THE mother of a four-year-old girl who fights for her life every day is trying to raise awareness of life-threatening type one diabetes.
Mother-of-three Jess Smith, 23, from Boston spends her time worrying and checking her daughter Nicole’s blood sugar levels constantly throughout the day and night.
She was diagnosed with type one diabetes at the age of two – an auto-immune disease that destroys the beta cells in the pancreas meaning the body can no longer produce insulin.
Ms Smith who fears for her daughter’s life wants to make more parents aware of the condition and said: “Nicole suffers through hourly finger pricks to test for sugars within the blood along with an insulin pump and cannula which is inserted underneath her skin to constantly deliver the insulin to keep her alive.
“She also has seizures when her blood sugars drop which can be at any time, unexpectedly, day or night.
“It is very worrying and very scary as every day is a fight for life. At one point her sugar level could be at seven and then within 20 minutes it could be 1.8 which is extremely dangerous and puts her at risk of unconsciousness, seizures, stroke, coma or death.”
What triggers the condition is not yet known and there is currently no cure. Type one diabetes is not widely known of and is often mistaken with type two diabetes which is a metabolic disorder often present in the elderly or overweight.
Current statistics show that only one child per 1,000 is diagnosed with the disorder each year in the UK with only as few as four per cent being diagnosed at Nicole’s young age.
Despite having to completely change her lifestyle, including everyday things such as the food she eats and how much activity she can take part in, Nicole enjoys ballet and tap dancing.
She has a lot of support from her family including her sister Elle, seven, and brother Lewis, two.
Ms Smith is hoping to raise awareness of the condition and raise funds for the local diabetes clinic and JDRF type one diabetes charity. She has gained lots of support from Boston firefighter Nicky Hull who plans to organise some fundraising events in the near future.