Diabetes girl (7) battles to help others
A BRAVE girl diagnosed with a life-threatening illness has battled to raise money to help other children facing a similar ordeal.
ness about diabetes.
She said it was also a chance to help youngsters at the school learn more about Jessica’s condition.
And she added: “All the teachers have had training on giving injections and what to do if Jessica has a hypo.
“The school managed to raise £131 by the children paying to wear denim, which is fantastic.”
She added: “But explaining to the children why Jessica needs a can of fizzy drink or a snack when the other children are discouraged was also important.”
Seven-year-old Jessica McDonnell’s world was turned upside down when a virus attacked her pancreas a year ago leaving her with the incurable type 1 diabetes.
Jessica, the only-child of parents Paul and Amanda, of Crowhurst, Werrington, Peterborough, had been poorly for a while when they made the shock discovery and the family had to come to terms with a lifetime of injections.
But the inspirational girl was soon giving herself the injections and threw herself back into school life.
And after realising there are 70 other Peterborough children suffering from the condition she was determined to raise money for the Peterborough Children and Families Group of Diabetes UK.
Mum Amanda explained: “As soon as we realised Jessica had the disease we wanted to find out as much as we could about it, and we soon discovered the families group who have been a great support.
“Jessica’s school has also been brilliant in helping her get back to normal so we asked them if we could help raise money for the group.“
Jessica also suffers from Coeliac disease, which is an auto-immune disease, where the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues, which has also brought its own issues.
Amanda said: “It does mean we have to be incredibly careful of what she can eat, which is difficult with things like parties, and it means we have to take her food with us.
“But Jessica has been amazing and all her friends have taken it in their stride as well and we have made sure she can lead as normal a life as possible.”
Headteacher at Welbourne Primary School Annette Dalgess said staff and pupils had jumped at the chance to help Jessica’s family raise aware-
CLASS MATES: Jessica McDonnell, centre, with friends, from left, Joseph Aque, Ewan Humberston, Erikas Grigutis, Caery Brandreth, Annie Beeston and Anna Winters
LIFECHANGING: Jessica with mum Amanda and dad Paul.