‘500 miles’ appeal to help young South Shields football fan battle illness

Daniel Chapman, right, with mum Glynis and brother Alex.
Daniel Chapman, right, with mum Glynis and brother Alex.

Friends, family and neighbours are joining forces to help a young football fanatic in his battle with diabetes.

Daniel Chapman, 8, of High Trees, South Shields, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes three-and-a-half-years ago, meaning his pancreas does not produce insulin and his blood sugar levels need to be monitored.

Daniel Chapman plays for South Shields Under-9s.

Daniel Chapman plays for South Shields Under-9s.

Daniel and his family, including mum Glynis, dad Graham and brother Alex, 15, have suffered a “massive impact” since the diagnosis was made, but have recently received a major boost after trialling the use of a continuous glucose monitor.

It monitors Daniel’s blood sugar levels every five minutes, and is able to predict when he needs insulin or a sugary drink, meaning his bloods do not have to be taken as often.

However, the monitor costs about £5,000 a year to maintain, and to help Daniel’s family cover the costs, a fundraising campaign – called ‘I Can Walk 500 Miles for Daniel’ – has been launched, and will run throughout July.

It will see supporters of the campaign each complete 500 miles during the month.

It has had a massive impact on Daniel in a positive way

Glynis Chapman

Among the events planned is a walk between the Stadium of Light – home of Daniel’s favourite football team, Sunderland AFC – and Mariners Park, home of South Shields FC. Daniel plays for the Mariners’ under-9s team.

Mum Glynis has told of how much of a positive effect the monitor – which is worn on his arm or stomach – has had on him.

She said: “It has had a massive impact on Daniel in a positive way.

“Daniel has had disturbed sleep for three years, because we’ve had to take his bloods at 1am and 3am, as they are the most dangerous times for diabetics. He also needed injections with each meal. The monitor allows you to leave him and you only need to disturb him if the alarm goes off.

As well as playing for South Shields Under-9s, Daniel supports Sunderland.

As well as playing for South Shields Under-9s, Daniel supports Sunderland.

“We can already see a big improvement, and now we know when his levels are up or down.

“It allows us to take control and treat his levels before they go too high orlow.

“It also has a function called ‘night scout’, which alarms during the night if Daniel is slipping into a hypoglycaemic episode, which sadly is sometimes normal for diabetics.”

Daniel’s condition is genetic, and his family has been taken aback by the amount of funds raised so far, with the current fund just short of £1,500.

Daniel Chapman with mum Glynis.

Daniel Chapman with mum Glynis.

To donate to Daniel’s fund, visit www.gofundme.com/2366kuc.