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It was the family huliday we never thought we'd have.


origin, known to be at higher risk, it can occur in people as young as 25.

FEEDING the dolphins, little Jacob Wilkes could hardly contain his excitement.

Symptoms are similar to Type 1, though weight loss isn't usually seen. However, unlike Type 1, the signs can progress slowly over time and it's believed there are thousands of people with Type 2 currently undiagnosed.

It was the first time the youngster, aged six at the time, had set foot abroad and it was a dream come true for his family.

Healthy diet and lifestyle are crucial for controlling it, but medication may also be required.

For Jacob, of Kings Heath, suffers from the condition Partial Trisomy of Chromosome 3 and Polymicrogyria, of which there are no other known sufferers in the world.

It's a myth that Type 2 is a less serious form of diabetes. Both types can lead to devastating complications, including blindness, amputation and kidney failure.

So when he was flown to Florida in 2011, armed with a team of nurses, the youngster was able to experience a world he had never thought existed.

The NHS spends PS10 billion (10% of its entire budget) on treating diabetes, 80% of which goes on treating complications. (Mum Caroline, 42, had applied to the charity Caudwell Children for the Destinations Dreams trip to Florida, a fullyfunded holiday which enables seriously ill children and their families to go abroad with the help and support they desperately need.

The good news is that these can be avoided, providing people manage their condition well and have regular check-ups to spot the early warning signs of problems.

Here, three people share their advice.

Before she had heard of the project, Pav.

Caroline, husband Graham, 47, Jacob and his sister Ella, 10, had only been able to travel within the UK - and | For more information and eating we people even then it was risky, with frequent hospital admissions.

support, call Diabetes UK Careline 0845 120 2960 or visit to "taking "It was a life changing experience The dish was specially food," for us to go away with medical support," says Caroline, who is also mum to 22-month-old Noah.

"There was no way we could ever have done this before.

ADULTS | Alison Freemantle is a pharmacist at Lloydspharmacy, offer free Type 2 screening in more than 1,500 UK pharmacies. condition," see your you live days a "A people. "It meant that there was someone around to help constantly and it was great to have the extra pair of hands.

"The place was also full of remarkable people and it gave us a chance to spend time with other families in similar situations to ours.

the last 10 years, Lloydspharmacy has over 1.5 million for Type 2 diabetes. offers advice "I think it was the most profound experience we've ever had.

"The ability to go away as a family and have support was exceptional as both financially and practically, we wouldn't have been able to do it.

"But it was the practical side which was the most important part."

Caroline had heard about the charity's Destination Dreams project, which funds trips to Disney World in Florida.

Alison Freemantle "Often people come to say, 'I've been told I diabetes, now what do?"' says Alison. "Diet is usually a first Many think not allowed any but that's not really case; there are sugars of healthy foods. "Everybody who's diagnosed see a dietician but that can a few weeks. It's really about a healthy, balanced diet, like should. But it's important understand how food's going them.

Families are put up in the unique Give Kids the World resort, which is specially adapted for children who are seriously ill and disabled.

And Caudwell Children's medical team are on call 24 hours a day. in the "If in front what the easier."

For Jacob and his family it was an essential part of the holiday.

Being "We tried to go on holiday in the UK and most times Jacob ended up about understanding and responsibility for your particularly i said. in hospital," adds Caroline, who Jacob's full-time carer. is "We were limited to what we could do.

" says Alsion. "You might GP once or twice a year but with it day in, day out, 365 year.

lied "But when I heard about the Destination Dreams project I applhoping we could go." l h r r " That was in 2010 and although they were accepted on the trip fthat year, they had to defer the holiday to 2011 when Jacob becamill his consultant wouldn't allow him to go.

me m ur u problem with Type 2 is running out of medicines, or not taking them, particularly older people who might have quite a lot to take - for diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol... This can be confusing and some tablets might be difficult to swallow, or cause side-effects, or people might think it won't do them any harm to miss some.

"Fortunately, Caudwell held ouplace and we went there a year later," said Caroline. "A team of nurses were with us all the way it meant that Jacob was really carfor.

and red a r o no ble "There was someone around to help with the wheelchair and of course everything else. There's way we would have ever been abto do the trip without the charity because of Jacob's condition." n b "But that's where problems start to crop up."

check-ups are included advice services.

ng ns you've actually got the packets of you it's easier to explain they're all for. Understanding medication makes managing it t.

" Caroline and Graham, a learnimentor, first discovered there was omething wrong with their son when she was 20 weeks pregnant. The vital scan showed calcification on the heart and two cysts on the brain. to aware of potential is important, too, foot problems. i "At that point doctors were quisure there was a problem but they ite y their blood weren't positive. "We'd decided to go ahead with the pregnancy despite advice to the pharmacy is launching a special foot check advice service.

terminate. We also refused a more invasive test which would have revealed more about his condition, but put Jacob's life at risk."

"It's checking for any numbness, looking out for soreness and redness, knowing what's normal for your feet so you can spot changes, and generally looking after them.

Caroline was routinely scanned throughout the pregnancy so that Jacob's development was monitored.

he "It can be difficult for older people who can't bend down to see their own feet. If that's the case, ask someone else to check for you, or use a mirror." I in She says: "It was a massive shock because you don't anticipate that at all with your child. But my husband and I are part of a local church and got a lot of strength from the community.'' When Jacob was born, he was immediately floppy and had feeding problems.

If ulcers aren't treated quickly they can eventually lead to amputation.

'He was in and out of hospital for the first three months and his development was delayed.

Eye health is another potential complication area, as is high blood pressure and kidney disease. Thorough annual health checks are a vital part of management for everybody with diabetes. | For more information visit Caroline recalls: "At nine or ten months he was having so many admissions. That's when they decided to carry out genetic investigations and he was diagnosed.

"It didn't mean huge amounts as it was an unknown condition and they haven't been able to find anyone in the world with same thing.

FOR TEENS | Stephen Clancy is an Irish cyclist with Team Novo Nordisk, the world's first all-diabetic pro-cycling team.

to "That's not to say there isn't anyone out there with Trisomy of Chromosome 3. They just cannot For teenagers diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, it can feel like your sugar levels find anyone on the genetics database with the exact same match.

been turned upside down. This is how Stephen felt when he diagnosed last year aged 19.

"For the first four to five years he was in and out of hospital for long stays but over the past three years, he's been much more stable. And developmentally he is doing better."

wanted cycling it manage But now, 14 months on, he's in control of the condition and says it's changed his life for the better, and hopes to inspire others.

Jacob is in a wheelchair, but on some days, he can walk with the aid of a trolley.

He can understand what is being said and his speech is ok, but it is delayed.

"Jacob is on a continuous feed, and has a tube attached to his face and his growth is quite restricted," his mum explains.

"I've loved cycling since was young and competed my first race at 16," he explains. "Being diagnosed Type 1 was a huge shock. I assumed diabetes affected people who ate much sugar, not people like me. I thought, 'That can't be right, why ' I already ate healthily I don't drink or smoke, so I thought it was unfair."

"He wears clothes for a five to six year old. Behaviourally, he isn't like an eight-year-old but a child much younger, perhaps more like a toddler.

Stephen Clancy "He just does what Jacob does. "We try to make the most of the time we have with him and we hope he has the best life possible that we can give him. cycling dipped " Stephen was terrified it wouldan end to his cycling. "The doctors weren't particularly inspiring either," he recalls. "One of said, 'Oh, you're a cyclist - that "It is quite hard to judge whether his condition is life-limiting as there sugar made difficult, is no one else out there to compare him to.

might complicate things with trying manage your sugar levels, so maybe just start by doing one mile'."

"But we genuinely don't know and it's hard to predict what will happen." "muscles sugar meals," '." For somebody used to 100-milthis was the last thing Stephen


Jacob has a splashing time with his mum Caroline on their dream holiday understand what life's like with diabetes. For many, it's the first step

Jacob Wilkes feeds dolphins and swims with his dad Graham in Florida

| People with diabetes eight, who is on a continuous feed, is pictured with sister Ella, 10, have to inject insulin
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jun 12, 2013
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