A Sheffield nursery worker who found her dad collapsed when his blood-sugar levels fell is taking part in a study into family links to diabetes.
Gemma Morton, aged 21, from Wincobank, decided to take part in the new diabetes research at the city’s Northern General Hospital after seeing her dad Ian, aged 53, suffer from hypoglycaemic episodes, brought on by Type 1 diabetes.
The study, called TrialNet, involves relatives of people who have the condition undergoing a blood test and also providing some family history.
Doctors hope the results could protect future generations by letting people know they are at risk of Type 1 diabetes years before symptoms appear.
Gemma said: “Diabetes can be pretty scary and it’s only through my own knowledge of my dad’s condition that I’ve been able to pull him through some life-threatening situations.
“Once I found him propped up on the garage floor.”
Ian was first diagnosed with the disease when he was aged 22.
Gemma said: “It was actually my dad’s idea for me to take part. Taking part in clinical research isn’t something I’ve ever done before, but it’s really gratifying to know I’ve done something to help doctors find out more about links between Type 1 diabetes and family genes.”
Prof Simon Heller, honorary consultant physician at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said the project’s findings could help develop new therapies to prevent Type 1 diabetes, where the body stops producing insulin completely.
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