A shop owner from County Durham has begun a festive campaign to raise money for diabetes charities in the UK.
Wendy Watts, from the small town of Crook, said all proceeds from sales of Christmas baubles at her shop Nicoleivy will be donated to Bishop Auckland Hospital’s Paediatric Diabetes Fund and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), which specialises in type 1 diabetes research .
Mother-of-two Mrs Watts said the charities were chosen because of her five-year-old godson Keaton Alliso, who nearly died from type 1 diabetes.
Keaton was taken into intensive care as a toddler after carers failed to spot the signs of his insulin-dependant condition.
His mother Catherine Allison explained: “The symptoms of diabetes can easily be mistaken for other illnesses and are often missed, even by trained medical staff, and that is what happened with Keaton. His lack of appetite and thirst were misconstrued as a throat infection .”
Keaton battled through and now manages his condition through the daily use of an insulin pump, which is an easy-to-use, less painful alternative to injections .
“Having a pump has improved Keaton’s quality of life and helped him at school where teachers have been trained to use it,” Mrs Allison continued.
“He hasn’t let the constant need to monitor his food intake hold him back in any way and, apart from the odd low, he is generally a bundle of energy.”
Mrs Watts added that she has seen what Keaton and his family have been through and wanted to help others at risk or already suffering from type 1 diabetes by raising funds and awareness of the disease.
The fundraising drive will run until Christmas Eve and a hamper worth more than £60 will also be up for grabs in a special raffle.

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