Newton-le-Willows pupil Megan wins Diabetes UK competition

Megan Glanister has won a national competition after sharing what diabetes meant to her and her family after her little sister Gracie was diagnosed with the condition.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 8:17 am
Updated Thursday, 17th June 2021, 8:18 am
From left to right Megan with mum Jo, baby brother Cameron, sister Gracie and step-dad Gareth
From left to right Megan with mum Jo, baby brother Cameron, sister Gracie and step-dad Gareth

Megan, 12, from Newton-le-Willows, made a video and presentation which she entered into the Diabetes UK competition, to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes and share what it’s like her sister and family to live with the condition.

Megan, a pupil at Hope Academy, said: “I was so shocked when I realised, I’d won. I made the video after our school chaplain encouraged me to do something to express what it was like for our family to live with diabetes. I just wanted to raise awareness and am so pleased I won.”

Megan’s sister Gracie, four, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in November 2018 when she was just 23 months old.

Gracie’s mum Jo, 33, said: “It was an incredibly tough time and came as quite a shock. We had to rush Gracie to hospital and Megan was at school at the time. She was really worried about her little sister.”

Type 1 diabetes is a condition where the pancreas cannot produce insulin which is needed to carry glucose around the body. It’s the most common type of diabetes in children and young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly. It is treated by daily insulin doses – taken either by injections or via an insulin pump.

The Diabetes UK competition asked children and young people affected by diabetes, to express what the condition meant to them in whichever way they wished.

Megan’s entry not only explained what type 1 diabetes is and how it affects her family but also interviewed staff at her school, Hope Academy, about how they support pupils living with the condition.

Jo added: “It can be difficult for siblings when a brother or sister gets diagnosed with type 1. There’s a whole mix of emotions- they’re worried, trying to help and can also feel guilty, which I know Megan did.”

Megan added: “I felt bad about eating certain things in front of Gracie as I thought she couldn’t have them because of her diabetes. I know now that Gracie can eat everything that I do, it’s just that she has to take insulin to manage her sugar levels.”

Clare Howarth, Head of the North of England at Diabetes UK said: “We’d like to say a huge congratulations to Megan on her winning entry. It was wonderful to see the effort and care she has taken to share her experiences and awareness of diabetes.

“Living with diabetes can feel relentless for families. It’s so important that we raise awareness of what it’s like to live with diabetes so that other people affected by the condition will know that they’re not on their own.

"We’re incredibly grateful to Megan and her family for sharing their experiences and helping us create a world where diabetes can do no harm.”

You’ll find advice and information on diabetes at www.diabetes.org.uk