A 24-hour fundraiser has raised over £2,000 for type 1 diabetes research in memory of Tommy Green who tragically died from short-term complications of the condition.

The Dab4Tommy fundraiser was posted on Diabetes.co.uk’s social media channels on 17 May. For every share over the next 24 hours, Diabetes.co.uk volunteered to donate 5p to JDRF, the type 1 diabetes charity.

The fundraiser encouraged people to light a candle in Tommy’s memory or to perform a ‘dab’. Dabbing is a popular dance move which involves a striking pose of resting your head into the bend of one elbow whilst extending your other arm outstretched to the other side.

Tommy, from Bury St Edmunds was just 21 years old when he died of a severe hypo in his sleep. The student had been going through a sickness bug and had gone to bed. No-one knew this would be his last night and his family were shocked to discover he had died from severely low blood sugar.

Dabbing for diabetes

The dabbing pose seemed just right to capture the mood, looking mournful on one side of the body, yet defiant and reaching for the skies on the other.

It caught the imagination of the diabetes community as thousands of people shared the image and hundreds of tribute photos poured in as people ‘dabbed’ in honour of Tommy. The tributes included the Normandy troop Plymouth 30 Royal marine commando cadets, staff at Universal Studios, Hollywood and a 101 year-old grandma.

After 24 hours, the tribute had been shared 44,085 times and seen by 1.4 million people around the world. An amazing response to such a sad event.

Type 1 diabetes can such a tough condition to manage at times. The sickness bug Tommy was dealing with will have added to the complexities of managing his diabetes. Illness can make rises and drops in blood sugar much harder to predict. Deaths from low blood sugar are thankfully rare, but when they do occur it is heart breaking.

We speak on behalf of the diabetes community in saying our hearts go out to Tommy’s family.

Tommy’s mum expressed her gratitude to all those who lent their support to the campaign:

Donate to JDRF

You can lend your support to the campaign by donating to the JDRF: jdrf.org.uk/dabfordiabetes

JDRF work to improve the lives of people with diabetes including funding research projects to help find a cure for type 1 diabetes and to new technology, such as artificial pancreas systems, to better control the condition.

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