DIABETES UK Cymru is marking Children and Type 1 Diabetes Day on 3 February with a challenge to ‘Express Your Diabetes: Draw it, Write it, Wear it.’

Diabetes UK Cymru are asking children to get creative and express how they feel about their diabetes through drawing or writing. If they prefer, they can also share pictures of their kits or tech.

The pictures will be shared on Diabetes UK Cymru’s social media channels (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) to generate an online conversation around personal experiences and add buzz to this already very active online community.

Children and Type 1 Diabetes Day

In 2020, as part of the 4 Ts campaign, Diabetes UK Cymru has made the 3rd of February “Children and Type 1 Diabetes Day”. The day will celebrate the achievements of children and young people living with the condition in Wales. They also hosted a large event in the Senedd, sponsored by Jayne Bryant MS in 2019.

Last year, because of Covid restrictions, they gave away over 50 craft boxes and launched a creative challenge online, called Strong with Type 1. Dozens of children participated and shared their creations, including a whole primary school in Neath in support of a recently diagnosed pupil.

“In 2022 we continue to encourage creativity and self-expression in children with a message of positivity and the importance of community, as well as raising awareness of the 4 Ts or main symptoms of type 1 diabetes, so more children can be diagnosed early and safely”, said Leanne Jenkins, Diabetes UK Cymru’s National Care Advisor.

Diabetes UK supporter, Welsh poet and rapper, Duke Al Durham said: “Creativity is fun, exciting and challenging as it allows the imagination to run wild! For me this has always been a way to escape into my own universe, yet cope with living with type 1 diabetes and OCD, it is as much of an escapism as it is my therapy.

“I am supportive in encouraging creativity in any form in children as it can be a way of expressing themselves. I started when I was young, using poetry and rap to express myself and battle mental health and in this process discovered my true passion. 

“So go out there be strong, own your type 1 diabetes and open up the realms of your imagination to create something magical.”

There are over 1,400 children living with type 1 diabetes in Wales and our campaign has focused on raising awareness of the main symptoms of the condition.

What are the 4 Ts?

• Toilet – Going to the toilet a lot, bed wetting in a previously dry child or heavier nappies in babies.
• Thirsty – Being really thirsty and not being able to quench the thirst.
• Tired – Feeling more tired than usual.
• Thinner – Losing weight or looking thinner than usual.

By making sure children and young people get a quick diagnosis and early treatment, we can avoid them becoming seriously ill with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

Display a 4 Ts poster in your local community, playgroup or school and help raise awareness of the symptoms of diabetes. We’ve also got this information available in Welsh. 

Join Express your Diabetes on Diabetes UK Cymru’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages.

You can also send entries to wales@diabetes.org.uk