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Real-life story of type 1 teen and her medical alert dog turned into stage show

The real-life tale of a teenager with type 1 diabetes and her medical alert dog will be told on stage in Preston later this month.
‘Katie and Pip’ will tell the story of how Katie Gregso, 15, coached her dog Pip into detecting when her blood glucose levels were either too high or too low by using her sense of smell.
Pip, a five-year-old border collie, has now qualified as a Medical Alert Assistance Dog and communicates with Katie so she knows to take urgent action to avoid becoming unwell.
The one-hour show, starring Katie’s brother Rob Gregson and Pip herself, was developed to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes and invisible disabilities.
Speaking to the Longridge and Ribble Valley Advertiser newspaper, Katie said: “When my blood sugar goes too high or too low I give off an odour, but no-one else can smell it, only dogs can because their sense of smell is up to a billion times better than ours.”
The Tin Can People theatre company will stage Katie and Pip at the UCLan Media Factory Theatre. The show has already received a positive reaction when it was performed by the cast at the Edinburgh Fringe festival last year to raise money for type 1 diabetes charity JDRF.
Actor Charlotte Berry, who also appears in the production, said: “We wanted to face the challenge of working with both children and animals to embrace the liveness it creates in a theatre space.
“The bond between the participants is so strong and we want to be able to share that with the audience.”
The latest performance of Katie and Pip will be in the UCLan Media Factory Theatre on 14 March at 7.30pm.
Editor’s note: We developed our Hypo Training Program to help people with hypo unawareness regain their ability to detect hypo symptoms, and the free education program has shown that after six months users experience 63% fewer severe hypos.

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