Easter egg win for schoolgirl Abi who has bravely battled against diabetes

A LOUGHBOROUGH schoolgirl who has bravely battled back from being diagnosed with diabetes has won an Easter egg competition.

Abi Brooks, seven, took part in an Easter bunny treasure hunt competition at Carillon Court Shopping Centre with her sister Georgi, 11, as part of a host of free activities put on for the school holidays.

A big chocolate fan, Abi was keen to enter the contest to win a fine selection of edible Easter goodies including a Thornton’s egg kindly donated by the store in Carillon Court.

She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes eight months ago after her Mum became concerned that a small wound she had wasn’t healing and she was losing weight.

The condition occurs when insulin-producing cells in the body have been destroyed which means the body cannot produce the hormone which helps the body to use the glucose in the blood to create energy.

She spent a week in hospital feeling very poorly at the end of the summer holidays last year and now has to inject herself with insulin five times a day to keep the condition under control.

Mum Donna, 43, who works part time in customer services for Walkers Snack Food, said the news Abi had won had been a terrific boost for the whole family who were still learning to cope with Abi’s life changing and lifelong condition which if left untreated can cause serious health problems.

Donna said: “I am so pleased for her because it has been a tough few months while she has learned to deal with diabetes. It’s been a really uplifting piece of news and something which I think Abi will remember for a long time to come and will create some lovely memories of this particular Easter break.

“She can’t wait to get back to school and tell all her friends.”

Abi herself added: “I was so happy when Mum told me the news and I was jumping up and down because I really, really love chocolate.”

Fortunately for sweet-toothed Abi, chocolate doesn’t have the very negative effect on her physical health that you might associate with someone suffering with diabetes as Mum Donna pointed out.

She said: “We have more recently been able to take better control of Abi’s condition ourselves and have been able to work out what causes her sugar levels to become dangerously high, very quickly.

“It’s funny but things like chocolate rarely cause her trouble, it is more of the complex starchy foods, such as crackers, bread and other snacks which can really create a problem.

“When she was first diagnosed, it was such a shock and I was really worried about how it was going to affect our lives but together as a family, we have worked through it, and there has been very little in her life that she has had to give up completely.

“She still attends a dance class every week which she enjoys. Sometimes she might need to stop half way through because she doesn’t feel right but she has always been determined to keep going which is very admirable. I’m proud of her.”

Baljit Kooner, Carillon Court Manager, said: “It has been a real pleasure to bring Abi and her family a positive piece of news when they have been dealing with the shock and upset of Abi’s diabetes diagnosis.

“As a mum-of-two myself, I can only imagine that it has been very frightening and overwhelming for them all.

“I am relieved to hear that Abi, as a fellow chocolate lover, will be able to enjoy the wonderful prizes she has won.

“It’s a lovely end to the great Easter events we have had on at Carillon Court over the school holidays which went down really well with our young shoppers and their families.”