Published on 22 April 2022

DRWF has teamed up with a caped crusading consultant to help children cope with the challenges of living with type 1 diabetes.

The family of a nine-year-old boy has praised the initiative for helping their son embrace his type 1 diabetes and educate friends and classmates about the daily challenges he faces living with the condition.

DRWF in collaboration with Consultant Physician in Diabetes, Dr Mayank Patel from University Hospital Southampton, and member of the DRWF Editorial Advisory Board, Danny McLaughlin from Revolve Comics and comic artist Jim Lavery, ran a workshop during a virtual ‘Camp in the Cloud’ where the charity invited children to create their very own type 1 diabetes heroes and villains and a short story to go with their characters.

Clair Rava’s son Joseph was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in October 2020.

Clair said: “We’ve been on a steep learning curve, especially as it was all during the pandemic. We had to master the blood testing and injecting. He didn’t know anyone else with type 1 diabetes so when we heard about the Camp in the Cloud we registered straight away.”

The front cover of 'Type 1 Generations' created by Revolve Comics.

There are currently four Revolve comics concentrating on different important aspects type 1 diabetes. As co-creators of the Type 1 Origins comics series, Professor Partha Kar National Specialty Advisor, Diabetes with NHS England and co-lead of Diabetes GIRFT with NHS Improvement, Danny at Revolve, artist comic Jim Lavery and Dr Patel have been pleased with how well this has been received by those living with type 1 diabetes and those close to them, healthcare professionals and members of the public.

Joseph’s school has been really supportive of his diagnosis and have been using the Revolve Comics which are specially written for children and young adults as well as their families and supporters to understand type 1 diabetes.

Matthew Curzon, Headmaster at St Mary's Church of England Foundation Primary School in Stansted, Essex, said “As a school we believe that it is vital to inform and educate, not only our pupils and staff but also our wider community about diabetes.

“Joseph's parents introduced us to the comics produced by Revolve and have used them to start conversations around what is diabetes, and how someone with the condition manages it? We built the use of the comics into our whole class reading, allowing all children to have exposure and conversation around them. Our hope is to continue this for many years.

“Through conversations we have also been able to provide opportunities for the pupils to ask questions and gain further understanding of what it is like to manage this condition. Thanks to Joseph for being so brave, he has shared how he manages his diabetes, and given the other children in the school a chance to see first-hand what his daily routines entail.

“We are planning to further raise awareness through variety of fun and interactive activities during diabetes awareness week (this year 13-19 June), not only for our pupils and staff, but the wider community as well.”

The family took part in the 2021 Camp in the Cloud with Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation and Over The Wall which allowed them to meet other parents and children with type 1 diabetes.

Clair said: “Joseph had all the classic symptoms, losing weight and drinking all the time, the GP sent us straight to hospital as Joseph had diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) symptoms.”  

DKA is a serious complication that can happen in people with diabetes if their body starts to run out of insulin. When this happens, harmful substances called ketones build up in the body, which can be life-threatening if not detected and treated quickly. The second comic book in the Type 1 Origins series ‘Attack of the Ketones’ deals with this life-threatening complication of type 1 diabetes.

The Camp in the Cloud experience allowed Clair and her husband Angelo to meet other parents of type 1 children while Joseph got to interact with the other children.

Clair said: “It was lovely to chat to other parents and to share stories, hear experiences and tips. We learned a lot and it’s really helped us as a family.”

Joseph will be starting secondary school next year and Clair and Angelo want him to be as independent as possible, able to manage his type 1 diabetes on his own. Clair is keen to improve his diet as he tends to eat a lot of cheese at the moment!

Upcoming events for young people living with type 1 diabetes

Camp in the Cloud Online Virtual Event 

15th October

More information here


Diabetes Wellness Type 1 Family Camp is at NAYC and ACUK, Whitemoor Lakes, Staffordshire

30th April

More information here


Read more at DRWF Educational and Fundraising Events in 2022: Getting back together again to support people living with diabetes
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