Lobbying MPs and writing political manifestos are not the usual hobbies of a youngster – but for type 1 diabetes sufferer Millie Hainge, this is exactly how she spends her free time.
The 12-year-old was diagnosed at the age of nine and since then Millie has embarked upon a campaign of fundraising for the charity JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund).
The Princethorpe College pupil has increased awareness of the illness by lobbying local MPs at Westminster last year. She has also written ‘Millie’s Manifesto’, which she delivered to Downing Street on behalf of JDRF recently.
‘Millie’s Manifesto’ impressed JDRF so much that it asked if it could use it as part of its #CountMeIn Campaign which is asking party candidates in the run up to the General Election to invest in raising awareness of the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as increasing Government funding for research in the UK.
It also outlines a drive to ensure that the 400,000 British sufferers are supported to use type 1 diabetes technology on the NHS.
Millie said: “I feel privileged to have an efficient insulin pump that takes away most of the need for daily injections.
“This has made living with the condition so much easier but I know that there are many people who don’t have access to this. “I want to make a difference to as many sufferers’ lives as possible. By writing this manifesto, that will be read by MPs, it will hopefully be another step in the right direction.”
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas stops producing insulin altogether. Those diagnosed are then dependent on injecting or pumping insulin for the rest of their lives. It is unclear why type 1 occurs and there is no cure, and with spending lagging behind other nations, Millie is convinced that further funding could improve the chances of discovering a cure.
Already an Ambassador for JDRF, Millie has been nominated as its national and European representative. She will travel to the United States in July, where she will address the Senate in Washington.