An eight-year-old girl has taken part in a diabetes study to help researchers find ways to support people with the condition.
Rachel Dudley, from Bourne, signed up to the Diabetes - Genes, Autoimmunity and Prevention study being run by the University of Cambridge last year.
Rachel, who has type one diabetes, visited Peterborough City Hospital for blood tests. The researchers looked at how the DNA in a the tests related to the body’s immunity. It is hoped that learning about the changes in the immune system could lead to drug developments for preventing or reversing type one diabetes in the future.
Rachel’s mother Sarah, 43, said: “A lot of people don’t understand type one diabetes and it is a horrible long-term illness that impacts upon the whole family. The care and support from the hospital has been fantastic, so the research study was a great opportunity for us to give something back and try to help other children in the future.
“Rachel was so brave and has taken it all in her stride. There were times when she has been really unwell and nothing prepares you for injecting your child, counting carbohydrates and monitoring every single thing that they eat, but the paediatric research team have given us a great big hug of support which has helped us along the way.”
Paediatric consultant for the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust Dr Vijith Puthi worked with Rachel during the study. He said: “Rachel has been a brilliant patient, and her parents have been very accommodating to participate in the Diabetes - Genes, Autoimmunity and Preventions study, to help unravel the mysterious causes of diabetes.
“We had about 80 patients and their siblings participate in this study, and their effort and assistance will lead to further insights into diabetes. This kind of enthusiastic participation in research leads to hope that, one day, we will be able to defeat diabetes.
“We are very grateful to all our patients for their continued support of Paediatric research at Peterborough City Hospital.”
The study was funded by JDRF, a charity dedicated to research into type one diabetes. It took place across the country, including at Peterborough City Hospital.