A diabetes expert at Brighton University is backing calls for more government funding to find a cure for the condition.
Adrian Bone, professor of cell and molecular biology, is leading what the university described as one of the most innovative research projects to find a cure for the disease.
His research, which is funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, offers fresh hope for those with type 1 or juvenile diabetes.
It found that, contrary to popular belief, insulin-producing beta cells attempt to replicate themselves in response to the development of diabetes.
Professor Bone said that this offered hope that it may be possible to develop therapies that could allow some patients with type 1 diabetes to renew their own capacity to produce insulin.
He has joined Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, in supporting a new lobbying campaign.
Forty young people and 20 adults with type 1 diabetes are heading to the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday (25 April) to lobby MPs and peers.
Brighton teenager Izzi Hickmott will be among those going to Westminster for the first “Type 1 Parliament” lobbying event.
Izzi recently raised £800 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation by organising a non-uniform day at her school, Dorothy Stringer.
She said: “Living with type 1 diabetes is a constant struggle as you never get a day off worrying, calculating insulin doses and testing.
“I know I will have to do this for the rest of my life. I just hope that in my lifetime there will be a cure so that I can get back to living the sort of life most people take for granted.”
Caroline Lucas said: “Izzi is a passionate young campaigner committed to raising awareness of the realities of living with type 1 diabetes.
“So it’s great news that she has been chosen to bring this message to the heart of Westminster as part of Type 1 Parliament.
“It’s clear that far greater research is needed into type 1 diabetes, which affects around 350,000 people in the UK, to ensure that more pioneering projects like that being led by Professor Bone are able to work towards finding a cure.
“We also need to look at ways to improve the situation for young people with type 1 diabetes in schools, including practical measures to enable them to cope with exam situations and school trips, and information to help teachers and other students understand the challenges.
“There is a really strong case for a Brighton and Hove education policy for children and young people with type 1 diabetes in schools.
“I have written to my Green colleagues at the council to explore how we might take this forward.”
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