A SCHOOLGIRL who is on a mission to find a cure for diabetes is helping other children to understand the condition as part of a BBC television programme.
Phoebe Maddison, of Ground-well West, appeared in Same But Different on BBC 2 this morning, which is designed for children to watch in assembly to teach them about youngsters with medical conditions, disabilities or learning differences.
The St Catherine’s Primary School pupil, who is celebrating her eighth birthday today, was diagnosed with type one diabetes three years ago and said she took part in the programme because she wanted everyone to understand diabetes.
“What I am doing is showing people how I feel inside of me and how I want to be more like them,” she said.
“I kind of feel upset that I can't eat the things that I really want to. I have to have injections and blood tests before I eat anything.
“If people see what diabetics go through, they can find a cure. I wanted to be in the programme so they could get an understanding of what I go through as well."
Diabetes is a long-term condition caused by too much glucose, a type of sugar, in the blood.
Type one diabetes, which is hereditary and the rarest type, occurs when the body produces no insulin.
Phoebe will need four insulin injections every day for the rest of her life until a cure is found.
She was followed by a TV crew for three days for the programme and the footage shows her at Halloween, at theatre group Stagecoach and at school.
“It was quite scary because I have never been on TV before,” she said.
“I am really happy with myself even though I’m diabetic. I’m not different to other people. I still have friends and they trust me and believe in me. They look after me as a friend, as a normal person instead of a person with diabetes. Whenever I’m feeling low a lot of people help me.”
Phoebe started fundraising for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation last year in a bid to find a cure and has raised more than £1,000 so far.
“I think we just need a couple more thousand pounds until I am nearly done. I just want to carry on going and try my best to do the things I need to do,” she said.
Same But Different also features children with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and dyslexia.
To watch the programme, which was shown at 5am today, search for Same But Different on iPlayer.
To donate to Phoebe’s fundraising drive visit www.justgiving. com/phoebe-maddison. For information, visit http://www.jdrf.org.uk