"Make The Grade" is a Diabetes UK (DUK) campaign that tackles the problems children with diabetes face in schools. Taken from the DUK Make The Grade page, "sadly, too many children with Type 1 diabetes aren't getting the proper care they need - meaning both their health and education are suffering." This shouldn't be the case, and thankfully there has been a change in the law, and "from now on schools are legally required to look after children with medical conditions, including Type 1 diabetes."
I was really made aware of the campaign when Andy, Dad to L, a 10 year old child with diabetes, shared it on Twitter, rather proud of his son's contribution to it (and rightly so!) Since then, I've dipped in and out of the conversations around this subject, but, out of personal interest, remained up-to-date with it.
Yesterday evening, there was a "Make The Grade" event in London (I know very little of the event, other than what was tweeted, so apologies for my vagueness here!).
This was the first tweet I saw:
|Image from @DiabetesUK|
And I just exploded with pride!
You see, what I didn't realise, until I read Kev's blog post yesterday, was that L was excluded from a residential trip because of his diabetes, which I think is horrific. What's more, he's not the only child with diabetes to be facing problems like this.
So seeing the tweet above, and the ones that followed it that said "I don't let my diabetes stop me from doing the same things my friends do and I enjoy going on adventures" and "My school is great [L ended up moving schools]. They make me feel safe and happy", made my heart hurt and burst with pride at the same time, if that's even possible?!
Being diagnosed at 17 means that diabetes hasn't touched my childhood. It barely even touched my teenage years. It has, and will only, touch my adult life, and, rightly or wrongly, I'm grateful for that. So when I read about the incredible things that children with diabetes are doing, like L talking about type 1 diabetes at school and Amy, Kev's daughter, talking at the National Paediatric Diabetes Team Meeting, I'm inspired, and they make me feel proud to be a part of the diabetes community, online and offline.
They're real-life superheroes, as far as I'm concerned. But without the masks, as they don't need them. They have capes though. Who wouldn't want a cape?!
To find out more about the "Make The Grade" campaign, please click here, where you will also find further web links!