A GROUP of policemen is to be joined by the girl who inspired them when they take part in a charity cycle event.
Nine-year-old Christie McNab, of Linlithgow, suffered deteriorating health for months before being diagnosed with type one diabetes in February last year.
With her condition now under control, she will be joining a group of around 30 serving and retired West Lothian police officers on a short leg of the 47-mile Pedal for Scotland cycle between Glasgow and Edinburgh tomorrow, with all money raised going to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Calum Lawrie, a 57-year-old retired policeman with type two diabetes, gathered the participants together after hearing about Christie’s case.
“She’s the only young person I know who has type one, and she and her family have been through a very difficult time. They were the ones who first told me about JDRF. Because exercise has helped me so much with managing my condition, we decided to do something that would raise money for them while keeping us fit.”
Christies’ mum Iona, 43, a preschool music teacher, told the Evening News: “Christie had been off-colour for months and it just seemed to get worse and worse, but then other times she would feel fine. We didn’t see the pattern then, but she would generally perk up a lot after she had eaten. It never occurred to me that it could be diabetes until she started to feel thirsty all the time.
“Still, Christie’s diagnosis came as a shock. Some older relatives have developed late onset diabetes, but there is no history of type one in the immediate family.”
Christie, who attends Linlithgow Primary School, added: “When I went to hospital I had to get the lift because I felt so tired. I couldn’t even climb one step. I felt so much better when I got back though – I could run up the stairs!”
And it wasn’t long before “very independent” Christie was administering her own insulin injections, which have to be repeated several times a day.
“I’m getting a pump at the start of next year – that’s a wee machine that puts the insulin in and I’d only need to do that once every three days. I can’t have one now because lots of people are on the waiting list.
“The other people cycling are going to ride from Glasgow to Edinburgh, but I’m just going around Linlithgow to the Palace. I wanted to help JDRF because they support young people, and if they raise more money maybe other people won’t need to wait so long for an insulin pump.
“I’m very happy so many people want to help and I would like to say thank you to them.”
Lauren Hart, a fundraiser for JDRF, said: “We are very pleased and very grateful to them for taking part and raising money for us.”