Feniton family go the extra mile to support diabetic Gracie

PUBLISHED: 16:19 05 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:21 05 November 2019

Gracie Rippon, 12, has Type 1 diabetes. Picture: Diabetes UK

Gracie Rippon, 12, has Type 1 diabetes. Picture: Diabetes UK

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Melanie and James Rippon took part along with Gracie who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes nearly two years ago.

Diabetes UK's Run26 event pushes people to conquer the marathon distance of 26.2 miles during the month of October, in their local area, in their own time.

Participants decide where and when they run - in the street or parks, or complete the full marathon in their front room or gym.

The Rippons completed 26.7 miles by running close to where they live in Feniton most evenings, with Gracie running at home on the treadmill on rainy days.

Mrs Rippon said: "By doing this run, we hope to spread awareness of Type 1 diabetes. Before Gracie was diagnosed, we didn't know anything about it and how it impacts on your everyday life."

Gracie was diagnosed after her parents became concerned that she was always thirsty and going to the toilet during the night.

She was also having headaches and feeling sick, and had lost a lot of weight.

They Googled the symptoms and when they realised their daughter might have Type 1 diabetes, they took her to A&E at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, where their worst fears were confirmed.

Gracie was admitted straight away and spent Christmas 2017 in hospital. She weighed only three stone eight pounds when she was diagnosed.

Gracie and her family have so far raised more than £700 for Diabetes UK.

Matt Robert, Diabetes UK South West Improving Care Manager, said: "We're really grateful to the Rippons, and especially to Gracie, for taking part in Run26 and supporting our work to fund ground-breaking research, care services and campaigns that can change the lives of those living with diabetes.

"It's also incredibly important that people are aware of the most common symptoms of Type 1 diabetes in children and young people. These are the 4Ts - toilet, thirsty, tired, thinner - and we are so thankful to Gracie's family for highlighting them. Knowing these signs could make the difference between life and death."

To sponsor Gracie and her family, visit https://run26.diabetes.org.uk/pages/gracie

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