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.

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By KIRSTEN BEACOCK kirsten.beacock@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk

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.

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