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PICTURED: Kate Addington with Steve and Sally Morgan

THE Steve Morgan Foundation has gifted £3 million to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, an international charity dedicated to finding a cure for people with Type 1 diabetes.

The SMF donation – which is double the previous largest ever received by JDRF in this country – will help fund a research programme that includes artificial pancreas technology, ‘smart’ insulin and immunotherapy.

It will also enable the charity to accelerate vital clinical trials and ensures research can be boosted in an attempt to cure Type 1 diabetes, and to enhance current technologies, making them available on the NHS.

The donation follows the diagnosis, last year, of SMF founder and chairman Steve Morgan CBE’s seven-year-old stepson, Hugo.

Steve, who is also chairman of housebuilders Redrow plc, said: “My wife Sally (pictured right with Hugo) and I have experienced first-hand the tremendous impact that a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis can have on a family.

“From the initial stages of Hugo experiencing symptoms to him being diagnosed and finding out how we manage this life-long condition it has turned our lives upside down.

“Hugo was dangerously ill when we discovered he had Type 1 diabetes — his sugar levels had got to almost 10 times normal. The diagnosis hits you like a ton of bricks, and it is completely life-changing. It’s been a massive learning curve; you’ve got to think about everything you do.

“We are in a fortunate position to be able to make a difference, and we hope this donation will be a significant step towards funding research that we believe will be life changing for all the ‘Hugos’ of the world.

“We fully support JDRF’s ambition to improve the lives of people with Type 1 diabetes and one day to eradicate the condition for good.

“With an average of 16 people across the UK diagnosed each day, we want to raise awareness of the condition so that other families are aware of the symptoms and treatments for the condition.”

Karen Addington, chief executive of JDRF in the UK, said: “This £3 million donation from the Steve Morgan Foundation is an incredible sum of money and a transformational contribution towards our work to eradicate type 1 diabetes.

“We will find the cure – it’s just a question of time, great researchers and generous donors. Everyone at JDRF is extremely grateful to the Morgans for their interest in, and support of our work and we look forward to a long, productive and collaborative relationship with the Foundation.”

  • Type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune condition, affects around 400,000 people in the UK; of whom 29,000 are children.
  • The UK is currently 6th in the world for the number of new cases of Type 1 diabetes in children and teens below 20 years old, with 4,000 new cases diagnosed each year.
  • The condition has a life-long impact on those diagnosed, as well as their families and requires complex monitoring and management.
  • There is currently no cure for Type 1 diabetes, which occurs when a person’s pancreas produces no insulin, a vital hormone that allows the glucose in the blood to enter cells and fuel our bodies.

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www.jdf.org