A teenager with type 1 diabetes has been shortlisted for a major award which recognises good deeds carried out by young people.
Dan Walls, of Castle Barns in Bletsoe, Bedfordshire, has received a nomination for the Atlas Young People of the Year awards (YOPEY) which was set up in 2005 to give ‘young people a fairer image in the media’.
The 14-year-old was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes five years ago and has since become a JDRF ambassador.
YOPEY was founded by Tony Gearing, who told Bedford Today: “Dan is clearly dedicated to find a cure for type 1 diabetes. If one is found I am sure he will have a hand in its discovery.”
As part of his charitable role Dan has raised more than £10,000 from organising two sponsored walks and an indoor skydive. He has also helped raise type 1 diabetes awareness across the county by holding a sports education day, and visited Parliament to lobby MPs for better care for children with his condition.
His mother Susan Walls nominated him for the prize, which is open to people aged from 10-25 years, who live, work or study in Bedfordshire.
She said: “Often times are tough. He has had many, many blood tests, cannula changes and hospital visits but Dan has found that helping others and volunteering with JDRF has really helped him deal with this illness.”
Speaking about his type 1 diabetes, Dan said: “I have to be very grown-up taking care of myself otherwise I will become ill very quickly.”
Nominations are still open and schools, youth organisations, churches and charities across the county are being urged to nominate young people for the work they have carried out across Bedfordshire.
The winners will be announced in November at St John’s College in Cambridge.

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