Saffron Walden family campaign for Lisa's legacy
A Saffron Walden family has vowed to keep the legacy of their 27-year-old sister and daughter alive by launching a diabetes fundraising and awareness campaign.
Lisa Day, a former County High student, died suddenly in September following the rapid onset of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which resulted in her suffering a cardiac arrest.
Lisa’s family now want to use her story to raise awareness about recognising the signs and symptoms of the condition, which is most common in people with Type 1 diabetes.
If picked up early, DKA can be treated with extra insulin, glucose and fluid, but if left untreated, can lead to a coma and be fatal in a short period of time.
Lisa was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes aged 13, and battled with the condition all her life alongside an eating disorder.
Her mum Doreen Proud, sister Katie Edwards and brother-in-law Matthew Edwards are now committed to raising thousands of pounds for charity Diabetes UK through a series of planned events.
Matthew is running the London Marathon in April as well as the Berlin Marathon in September, and several other fundraising events are expected to take place next year, such as the 3 Peaks Challenge, a charity car wash, and an annual summer ball.
The family are also hoping to set the wheels in motion for a tour of schools and colleges in the area to educate students about the dangers of DKA.
Katie said: “To raise thousands of pounds to support the research work of Diabetes UK and also support people living with the condition would be a wonderful legacy.
“Lisa went from being a happy young girl to someone who was in and out of hospital all the time, fighting to manage this condition, which invaded her body, suddenly and without warning.
“Her battle with her diabetes was made even more difficult when she developed an eating disorder about a year after her diagnosis. Having to continually monitor what she was putting into her mouth certainly exacerbated her condition.”
Lisa was working as a HIV clinical research assistant at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, and was just about to embark on a new career by training to be a nurse before her death.
“I want people to understand the impact of being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a teenager. Lisa struggled for the whole second half of her life with this condition and despite rallying at times and forging ahead with a career the best she could, it was always there and its impact was devastating.” added Katie.
Matthew said: “They are so many things that she didn’t get to do, like get married and have children and we really want to leave a legacy through all the fundraising and awareness.
“If we can save just one life through all of this, then it will be a success.”
An inquest into Lisa’s death will be held in London in February.
To donate to Lisa’s fundraising, visit www.justgiving.com/Lisalovesdietcoke/ or for more information about diabetes or DKA, visit www.diabetes.org.uk.