Mansfield diabetes fundraiser in line for top award

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A MANSFIELD teen who suffers from diabetes has been put forward for an award in recognition of his outstanding fundraising work for a charity that researches into the disease.

George Dove (13) has made the final of the fifth Nottinghamshire Young People of the Year contest after raising an impressive £33,596 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF) and working tirelessly to raise awareness about diabetes.

George, of Ashfield Avenue, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged eight and had to inject himself with insulin four times a day before he had a special insulin pump fitted.

He began fundraising for the JDRF in 2009 and has held fundraising events, including a sponsored walk at Sherwood Pines and a fun day.

George has taken part in radio interviews and even addressed the GMB union conference about living with diabetes.

Mum Emma said: “I’m very proud of George. He is so inspiring. He is very conscious that people don’t realise the significance that type 1 has on a child’s life, but he’s quite prepared to stand up and tell others what its like. He’s a voice for the sufferers.”

The Brunts School pupil has also helped the charity INPUT, which helps families gain access to insulin pumps, because his has made such a difference to his life that he wanted to help other children access them.

He has appeared in videos that highlight the difference the pump makes and he has also tested the Diget blood sugar testing machine.

George was nominated for YOPEY at www.yopey.org by Rebecca Sharples, a previous finalist herself for her work giving children’s parties for free, who teaches George’s sister Libby dancing.

She was impressed with his dedication to helping other young diabetes sufferers and their parents to help them understand how they can assist the youngsters to live as normal a life as possible.

She said: “George just gets on with his life and does not let it worry him. To anybody who does not know him he’s just a normal 13-year-old. He enjoys sports and gets on with his mates.”

Because of his commitment, George has even now become a youth ambassador for JDRF.

Said Karen Addington, chief executive of JRDF: “George’s tenacity and dedication to informing people about the need for further research into type 1 diabetes is wonderful to see in a young person, and we are delighted that George has become so involved in the work we do here at JDRF.”

George is very modest about the charity work he does.

He said: “I do what I do to raise awareness and to help JRDF find a cure so that children don’t have to go through what I did and be called names.

“I just get on with life. The rest of my health is OK and I’m grateful for that. I don’t let the diabetes worry me at all.”

The Nottinghamshire YOPEY final - which is being sponsored by the county’s police and fire services - is being held tomorrow, with cash prizes up for grabs.