Facing personal challenges in memory of James, 18

March 03 2017

JUST over a year ago Downend teenager James Hedge tragically lost his life to diabetic ketoacidosis, a complication of diabetes caused by lack of insulin in the body.

JUST over a year ago Downend teenager James Hedge tragically lost his life to diabetic ketoacidosis, a complication of diabetes caused by lack of insulin in the body.

The 18-year-old, who was in his first year at university, had lived with Type 1 diabetes from the age of three. 

Now, in James’s memory, members of St Augustine’s Catholic Church in Downend are rallying round to raise money for research into the disorder, which claims thousands of lives every year.

There are currently 400,000 people in the UK with Type 1 diabetes and more than 29,000 of them are children. 

The St Augustine’s community are dedicating 2017 to raising money for the charity JDRF which works to cure, treat and prevent Type 1 diabetes.

To kick-start fundraising, Downend's 45-year-old Liz Knight, a close friend of the Hedge family, is running the London Marathon on April 23. Liz only started running in 2015 and this will be her first marathon. 

Then on Saturday June 24 a fundraising family walk from Frenchay to Eastville Park and back will take place.

Finally, in August, four cyclists will use pedal power to trek more than 100 miles in one day.

Matthew Condon, 44, from Mangotsfield, Andrew Serle, 42, from Bromley Heath, Jonathan Davis, 45, and 14-year-old Josie Davis, both from Longwell Green, will head to Somerset for the cycle ride.

James’s parents, Maeve and Bob, said: “We are so touched to have the support of the St Augustine community, with friends taking on immense personal challenges in memory of James.  

"James was kind, gentle, patient, quietly strong and determined and a good and loving son, brother and friend. His life was tragically cut short as he started his first year at university.  We hope his legacy will be helping to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes so other families don’t have to suffer as we have."

There will be further fundraising events throughout the year including a ladies pamper night on March 24 at St Augustine’s School, a quiz night on April 2 in the parish hall, cake sales in the parish hall on Sundays after church and a car wash in the parish car park, also after church.

If you are interested in taking part in the family walk, or any of the other events, email Clare Davis clare@novaassociates.co.uk for more information.

You can also donate directly online at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Liz.Knight