Six-year-old Amalia Holma, who has had type 1 diabetes since she was three, has lobbied Scottish MPs in Holyrood to promote a greater awareness of the condition. Amalia was helped by her mum and the medical research charity Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) in handing out cards with messages about diabetes to the MSPs she met.
Amalia has to take multiple daily insulin injections to manage her condition. Her mum said “For her first injections in the hospital, she had to be pinned down. She was screaming and kicking – it was a horrible time.”
Amalia started using an insulin pump last year; it is thought that only around two per cent of diabetes patients in Scotland have access to an insulin pump, a figure that is much lower than in other developed countries. In addition, she has been using a continous glucose monitoring system (CGMS) for a few months, which helps her to keep an eye on levels of blood glucose and alerts her if levels get too high or too low. Amalia’s parents had to pay for the system themselves, as it is expensive and not available from her local NHS health authority.
Mrs Holman also stated “Amalia understands her condition and, despite her young age, is very passionate about helping other young people with it. However, a hurdle we face is educating decision-makers about type 1 diabetes so they are better informed when allocating funding.”

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