Acton household’s fundraiser after teen identified with diabetes

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The family of a healthy and active 12-year-old Acton girl who dances across the country said her life “changed completely” after she was diagnosed with diabetes.

Fearn Swain feared she “cannot dance again” after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes a few weeks ago following a suspected aquatic infection.

FearnSwain and her family cycle 100 miles between them in the Jdrf 100 challenge to raise Mon

Fearn Swain and her family ride 100 miles between them in the JDRF 100 challenge to raise funds for the diabetes team at West Suffolk Hospital. Pictured from left to right are Emma, ​​Phoebe, Ross and Fearn.
– Photo credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Blood tests at West Suffolk Hospital showed that Fearn has type 1 diabetes, which makes the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood too high.

This means your body can’t make enough of a hormone called insulin, which controls blood sugar. You must therefore inject it daily to keep your levels under control.

Mom Emma Swain, 38, said it was “a big shock” to find out that her daughter Fearn had been diagnosed with lifelong illness.

FearnSwain and her family cycle 100 miles between them in the Jdrf 100 challenge to raise Mon

Fearn Swain (front) and her family ride 100 miles between them in the JDRF 100 challenge to raise funds for the diabetic team at West Suffolk Hospital.
– Photo credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Fearn, a great sports enthusiast, has participated in disco-freestyle competitions, played gymnastics, ballet, and soccer across the country for years. The news that she was diabetic changed her life.

She had discovered a love for running during lockdown after dance classes were canceled, but now even the simplest task has become a much more challenging task.

A quarter of an hour before each run, she needs to check her blood sugar levels and top up carbs when she’s low – while stopping to check her level halfway and always with snacks on hand.

Fearn Swain, 12, is cycling 100 miles with her family to raise money after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

Fearn Swain, 12, is cycling 100 miles with her family to raise money after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
– Photo credit: Emma Swain

Ms. Swain said it was “life changing” for family members who needed to learn about the condition, what snacks are best for them, and weigh all foods in the preparation of meals.

“Fearn has good days and bad, but it has really taken over our lives and it’s constant,” said Ms. Swain, a teaching assistant.

“She can feel very shaky and there is a lot of planning to eat, weighing her foods, and checking her blood sugar levels every two hours.

“I’d heard of diabetes, but until it hits you you don’t realize how much it changes your life.”

Fearn has received incredible support and treatment from the Diabetes Team at West Suffolk Hospital and has decided to raise funds to show her appreciation for the My WiSH charity.

Fearn Swain, 12, an avid dancer and gymnast, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Fearn Swain, 12, an avid dancer and gymnast, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
– Photo credit: Emma Swain

Emma and Fearn cycle 100 miles with 17-year-old Phoebe and 37-year-old father Ross to help raise awareness of the disease and its changes in your daily life.

The four of them are taking part in the JDRF Challenge, the premier diabetes foundation, to celebrate 100 years of insulin discovery and save thousands of lives.

They will cycle 25 miles each – or maybe 100 if they can – to raise funds, to raise funds for the West Suffolk Hospital team and the National Diabetic Team.

You can support them here.