A young woman with a rare form of diabetes is getting ready to jump out of a plane in aid of charity.
Laura Waddell, 20, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at the age of 18.
But specialists found that Laura didn’t quite fit the criteria of the condition and started to investigate genetically, which is how they discovered the rare form.
In December last year, Laura was given a new diagnosis called MIDD, maternally-inherited diabetes and deafness, which only affects around one per cent of of diabetics.
It means that the Widdrington woman, who works at the village’s Country Barn Shop, has a 75 per cent chance of going deaf within the next four years, which has happened to both her mother and late grandmother, who used hearing aids.
So, she decided to take part in a charity event to raise funds for Diabetes UK to help research into rare forms of the condition.
Laura said: “Living with my condition is very inconvenient at times as socialising with my friends is difficult.
“Being a 20-year-old college student is difficult. It often means that I have to miss parties and meals out due to my blood sugar levels being too high. I have recently lost a lot of weight due to my poor control of diabetes as well.
“I have always thoroughly enjoyed eating but now not so much as I have to watch what I am eating and need to take an insulin injection with everything I eat.
“After visiting Florida multiple times with my family and enjoying all of the big thrill rides, I thought I would combine my love for heights and speed by raising some money for a charity close to my heart.
“Jumping from 10,000 feet seems pretty normal to me.”
So far she has raised just over £1,000, having set a target of just £395.
Laura’s jump will take place at Peterlee near Durham on April 6. Members of her family will be there to witness the event and, she says, catch her at the end!
You can sponsor Laura at www.justgiving.com/laura waddell