Diabetes invades every part of little Billie Beet’s life – but she will be doing her bit to fight back against the illness in Sheffield tomorrow.
The five year old will be tackling the Sheffield Half Marathon 3K Family Fun Run to raise money and awareness.
Billie, of Deerlands Mount, Parson Cross, was diagnosed with Type One diabetes on her second birthday.
The Mansell Primary School pupil needs regular insulin, so has a cannula in her at all times. She also gets a lot of stomach aches and sickness.
And, although she is used to the ongoing treatments, it has a huge impact on her life and her family.
Anything that involves food or exercise affects a child with diabetes – even playing, birthday parties, after school activities or changes in the weather.
Mum Michelle Ward is hugely proud of Billie but knows the diabetes will never go away.
She said: “It invades her life immensely. It is hard.
“She doesn’t like the fact she can’t go to her friends after school or stop over at her grandparents.
“She doesn’t get to do the little things that she sees other people do and that is really hard for a little one.
“I don’t think people realise how much it changes a little person’s life. They don’t realise the little things that they can’t do.”
Billie will be taking part in the fun run with Michelle, sister Abbie, aged seven months, 12-year-old brother Connor and cousin Louise, 29.
The money they raise will go to the charity Supporting Children with Type One Diabetes, raising money for Sheffield Children’s Hospital – known as Team TOD.
It will be put towards researching the best ways of managing the condition and educating parents and carers on how to manage the condition better to help improve their quality of life.
There are 10 other diabetic children as well as 53 other youngsters taking part for the charity – to sponsor them, visit www.kidswithtod.blogspot.co.uk/
The Star reporter Molly Lynch is running the full half marathon for the same charity.
Molly said: “After being applauded by spectators who presumed I had taken part when I was in fact walking home from the gym last year, I vowed I must do the Sheffield Half Marathon next time around.
“I met the ToD team when they collected a fundraising award at Don Valley Stadium and was amazed at their efforts.
“It’s an excellent cause which I know is going straight to helping children in Sheffield and I am proud to support it.”