Schoolboy educates South Lakes MP at House of Commons health event

The Westmorland Gazette: Ellis with Mr Farron at the event Ellis with Mr Farron at the event

A SCHOOLBOY from Arnside has travelled to Parliament to meet with a South Lakes MP in a bid to raise awareness of type one diabetes.

Ellis Simms, 11, attended Westminster to discuss the impact of the disease with Tim Farron, at a major event held at the House of Commons.

The youngster, who attends Carnforth High School, was one of 60 people selected from across the country to represent other sufferers.

“I want to thank Ellis for coming to the event and speaking to me about type one diabetes,” said Mr Farron.

“He told me about the true impact of type one upon those that live with it, their families, and the country as a whole.

“On behalf of all those living with this condition in Cumbria, I will be contacting the science minister, David Willetts, to ask how research into this condition can be better supported.”

Ellis, who was diagnosed with the illness just after his first birthday, was chosen to attend the event by diabetes charity, JDRF.

He issued an invitation to Mr Farron and the pair met up beforehand so Ellis could explain how the diabetes affects him - and why he wants the government to support finding a cure.

Mr Farron was told that the disease is a ‘chronic and challenging condition’ that has no known cause - other than that it is not linked to lifestyle or diet.

A child diagnosed with it at the age of five could have had as many as 19,000 insulin injections and 50,000 finger prick tests by the time they are just 18.

The condition affects around 400,000 people in the UK – equivalent to more than 600 people in every constituency – and incidence is growing rapidly, particularly in those under five-years-old.

Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF, said the day was ‘a resounding success’.

“Thank you to everyone who attended,” she added.

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