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Islington schoolgirl raises £2,000 for charity with daring challenge

Talitha, Millie, Isabelle and Paul Newman after completing the London Bridges Challenge. Pic: Sam Carney Talitha, Millie, Isabelle and Paul Newman after completing the London Bridges Challenge. Pic: Sam Carney

Saturday, December 28, 2013
5:11 PM

A schoolgirl who suffers from diabetes has raised more than £2,000 to help seek a cure for the disease by completing a bridge-crossing challenge.

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Isabelle Newman, 11, who lives off New North Road, Islington, took part in a charity challenge to cross 12 of London’s most famous river crossings, including Millennium, London and Tower bridges.

The pint-sized fundraiser completed the eight-mile challenge with her 10-year-old sister Millie and parents Talitha and Paul, to raise cash for Diabetes UK.

Isabelle said: “I wanted to do the walk to raise money for Diabetes UK because it is such a good cause and I hope the money I raised will go towards finding a cure and helping people with diabetes in the future.”

Isabelle was diagnosed two years ago and has been raising money for the charity ever since.

She followed the route from Albert Bridge to London Bridge with more than 800 fellow walkers. She also sold her unwanted toys to raise more funds.

Mrs Newman said: “Isabelle was diagnosed with diabetes in December 2011. She had lost a lot of weight – probably a stone – and weighed less than her younger sister. Friends had also pointed out she wasn’t herself, that she was withdrawn and tired.

“I took her for blood tests and later the same day got a call from the doctor saying we needed to take Isabelle to hospital.

“She started a new management regime the next day and we learned how to inject insulin. We were so lucky that she was diagnosed early as otherwise she would have collapsed and could have ended up with life-threatening complications.”

During the London Bridges Challenge, Isabelle and her parents had to carefully monitor her and adjust her insulin 
intake, as physical activity can have an impact on blood glucose levels.

Mrs Newman said: “We felt absolutely elated at the end, but also exhausted as we had only stopped once for a quick bite to eat. Diabetes in a child is hard work. Managing Isabelle’s blood glucose levels – working out how much independence to give her – it’s all challenging.

“With Isabelle we work as a team, make decisions together and explaining why we are giving her more or less insulin, depending on how she is feeling and the activities she has been doing.”

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