Letter from schoolgirl to type 1 diabetes called for better technology access in Scotland

A schoolgirl’s heartfelt letter inspired Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to make a decision to “change lives” by increasing access to diabetes technology.
Chelsey Millar’s (pictured, centre) compassionate words led to the politician last week announcing a £10m pledge to widen access to insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitor (CGM) equipment as part of plans to improve type 1 diabetes care.
The Scottish government funding will increase the availability of CGMs for priority groups, including children, over the next five years.
The move was announced by the First Minister at an event staged in Edinburgh last week to celebrate the 30th anniversary of JDRF in the UK, where Chelsey met Scotland’s political leader.
Chelsey, now aged 11, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of four. She penned the letter upon hearing about CGMs and the prospect of pricking her finger less.
In the letter to Ms Sturgeo, Chelsey, from Dunfermline, said she had done blood glucose tests “at least 12,260 times” since she was diagnosed.
“I am writing to tell you about something that can be done in Scotland to help people with diabetes,” Chelsey wrote. “I live with diabetes and have done since the age of four. I would like to give people in Scotland the chance to have something that other countries in the world have.
“Last year when I was on holiday in Norfolk I read about continuous glucose monitoring sensors. I thought this would be a great thing for children in Scotland as it would mean less finger pricks, which is a big thing to me and I am sure other children.
Carol (pictured, left), Chelsey’s mum, told the Daily Record: “I’m extremely proud of her. Chelsey is only 11 and it’s as if she has an adult head on her. She is very passionate about diabetes and has even made PowerPoint presentations to give me information.
“It was amazing news to hear about the funding. Chelsey does a lot of finger prick tests a day, and you get to the stage when she doesn’t want to do them anymore, which is natural, but it’s not an option not to do them. As Chelsey said to the First Minister, [the funding] will change lives.”
Picture: Daily Record

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