Pals Gracie and Briony dance to beat diabetes

Gracie Spandler and Briony Farr at their dinner-dance.

Gracie Spandler and Briony Farr at their dinner-dance.

First published in Local news Ilkley Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Best friends who became even closer when they both developed diabetes have raised hundreds of pounds to find a cure for the disease.

Gracie Spandler, from Rawdon, and Briony Farr, from Esholt, held a dinner-dance to raise a total of £930 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

By a strange quirk of fate the two girls, who have been friends since the age of three, both developed type 1 diabetes within a year of each other.

The girls, now both 12, gave a moving speech – taking it in turns to describe the impact diabetes has had on their lives.

They said: “Type 1 diabetes has nothing to do with lifestyle, your weight, or eating too many sweets.

“Anyone can develop it, at any age, but it is most common in childhood and youth “We can’t just eat what we like when we like.   “We have to test our blood at least four times every day, then count the carbo-hydrate content of everything we eat or drink, then do a calculation to work out how much insulin we need before we have anything at all.

“We do this to stay alive.   “We have to have nearly 1,500 insulin injections every year.

“Because we are best friends, and we were coincidentally diagnosed within a year of each other, we are lucky though.

“We can support each other when we are feeling fed up with our condition – it helps a lot and has brought us even closer together.”   The youngsters sold 87 tickets for the dinner.

Chris Normington, development manager, JDRF North, who was also at the event, said: “Gracie and Briony’s mums helped them to put on a fantastic night and their support means we can fund more research in to finding the cure for type 1 diabetes.

“These two young girls are living with a lifelong and life-threatening condition but with contributions like this it is only a matter of time before we are able to cure and ultimately prevent type 1 diabetes.”

Contact Chris Normington, on (0113) 3805 621 for information or to make a donation.

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