SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Emma Harper has praised the work of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) during a debate sponsored by Clare Adamson MSP highlighting the work of the charity in the Scottish Parliament. Ms Harper, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a girl, also took the opportunity to highlight the challenges faced by the parents of children with Type 1 Diabetes in managing the condition effectively.
Over 29,000 people in Scotland have type 1 diabetes, which is an immune system condition that is not linked to lifestyle. JDRF aims to foster collaboration between industry, academics and clinicians to drive forward new research. The Scottish Government recently announced £10 million of funding to provide better treatment for type 1 diabetes patients.
Speaking following the debate Emma said:
“I was very pleased to have an opportunity to place on record my appreciation of the work that the JDRF does. I know from my own experience of living with type 1 diabetes since I was teenager that there have been many improvements in the ways in which the condition is managed.
“Many people now benefit from insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring, both of which can have huge benefits for managing the condition well.
“Charities such as JDRF have been instrumental in campaigning on this issue and in raising awareness of the condition. The work in funding research projects across Scotland is having a very real impact in improving the lives of people who suffer from type 1 diabetes and helping to drive research to help find a cure.
“I wanted to highlight the very real challenges the parents of children with diabetes face – I saw during my nursing career the very real strain and exhaustion it can cause parents. Very often they have to be awake multiple times a night, every night, to check for the risk of hypoglaecemia. We can use new technology to relieve some of that stress though and it is important that as many families as possible are able to benefit.
“I also want to record my own appreciation for our own local diabetes team in Dumfries and to Consultant Dr Fiona Green Consultant and specialist dietician Sheena MacDonald for helping point out the technologies that exist to better support a busy MSP so that she can manage blood glucose control optimally!
“The treatment of type 1 diabetes continues to improve in no small part due to the activities of charities such as the JDRF, although a cure still eludes us. When I consider the developments and improvements there have been over my life with the condition, however, I do believe that ultimately a cure will be found.”
Ms Harper’s speech in the debate can be found here: