News - Diabetes Awareness Campaign

A  Staffordshire teenager is backing a national campaign to raise awareness of the main symptoms of Type 1 diabetes by travelling to Parliament to make the case to MPs.

Molly Belfield, 15, from Leek, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 12 and with her father Ray attended a parliamentary reception held by Diabetes UK to launch its 4 Ts campaign, which aims to highlight the 4 Ts of Type 1 diabetes symptoms: Toilet, Thirsty, Tired and Thinner.

Despite being a serious condition, nine out of 10 parents are unable to correctly identify frequent urinating, excessive thirst, extreme tiredness, and unexplained weight loss as the main symptoms of the condition.

The charity believes this is one of the reasons why a quarter of children with Type 1 diabetes are only diagnosed once they are already seriously ill with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a life threatening condition that needs immediate treatment in hospital.

This is why Molly and her dad are backing the campaign and like the charity they are urging parents, carers, healthcare professionals and anyone who works with children to know the 4 Ts and understand that a child who has any of them needs to urgently visit a doctor so they can avoid becoming seriously ill.

Molly, who is a student at Westwood college, said: “I want everyone who looks after children to know about Diabetes UK’s 4 Ts campaign. My symptoms included drinking a lot more than normal, and going to the toilet a lot. I was very poorly and my parents were very worried but luckily my diabetes was diagnosed in good time. “It was a big shock when I was told that I had diabetes, but I am now doing really well and I’m learning to look after it.” 

Richard Hey, Molly’s Headteacher at Westwood College, said “I have seen many young people, who like Molly, go through the ups and downs of diagnosis with Diabetes and then go on to thrive once their condition is effectively managed. The key is early detection and this campaign could really make a difference.”

Peter Shorrick, Diabetes UK Regional Manager for the Midlands, said: “At the moment too many children are only being diagnosed with diabetes when they are already very ill, but there is no reason why children with the condition can’t get a quick diagnosis. We want the 4 Ts campaign to put a stop to this by raising awareness of the main symptoms of Type 1 diabetes.

“By picking up on the symptoms and getting a doctor to do a simple finger prick blood test, a parent can ensure their child starts getting treatment before they get really ill. It’s important they do so quickly as a delayed diagnosis can have devastating consequences.”

For more information about Diabetes UK’s campaign, go to

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