Sisters Abigail and Samara Craig have taken on a challenge to swim the equivalent of the English Channel to raise money for Diabetes UK.
Ten-year-old Abigail, who suffers from type one diabetes, and Samara, eight, from The Mount, Uckfield, are hoping to raise £500 for the charity and awareness of the condition which Abigail was diagnosed with at the age of five, writes Jacob White.
Their mum Amanda, 38, is Abigail’s full-time carer and home schools both the girls while also studying for a science degree with the Open University.
Describing Abigail’s diagnosis, Amanda and dad Andrew, 43, a civil engineer, said: “The diagnosis was life-altering and traumatic and it continues to present tough challenges.”
The swimming challenge is part of the SWIM22 event organised by Diabetes UK and sees the girls swim each weekday morning for 30 minutes for 14 weeks between February 22 and May 22.
The family who have lived in Uckfield for three years say the challenge is about both raising funds and also about achievement over adversity.
“This is the fifth anniversary (of the diagnosis) and we wanted to change it into something positive. Sort of a declaration of ‘I can’ regardless of having diabetes.”
The swim takes place at Uckfield Leisure Centre each morning before the girls begin their studies while most Uckfield residents will be on the school-run or commuting to work.
The family hope that money raised through their efforts and those of others during the SWIM22 event can generate a fighting fund to contribute towards research into diabetes.
Amanda said: “By fund-raising, we feel that we are in a way contributing to this research and being a small part of developing a potential cure for diabetes.”
According to Diabetes UK there are 3.2 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and an estimated 630,000 people who have the condition, but don’t know it.
Type one diabetes can occur at any age, usually before the age of 40 and develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body have been destroyed and the body is unable to produce any insulin.
Amanda added:“We are also keeping up-to-date with new research development and are very interested in the stem cell transplant research of Diabetes UK. The success of this type of research has enormous implications and possibilities for Abigail.”
For donations towards Abigail and Samara’s swimming challenge please see their Just Giving page. All donations go directly to Diabetes UK.
You can also buy t-shirts to show your support at: www.tboom.co.uk/abisam4diabetes (half of the cost of the s-shirt will go to SWIM22/Diabetes UK).
For weekly progress, you can follow the girls on the family’s Twitter feed for the event which is: twitter.com/2WaveQueens.
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