Skip to content
Xanthe with her character Super Nurse and Insulin Thief
Xanthe with her character Super Nurse and Insulin Thief

Press release -

XANTHE FLIES HIGH WITH DIABETES SUPERHERO

An 11-year-old girl living with diabetes has used her amazing artistic skills to draw a diabetes superhero at a national virtual event.

Xanthe Taylor was diagnosed with type 1 just seven months ago. Despite being confined by the Covid pandemic, she participated in a virtual ‘Camp in the Cloud’ to learn more about living with type 1 diabetes and share her experience online with other children and families from across the country. It was organised by registered charity Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation (DRWF) in partnership with Over The Wall.

Part of the event was a workshop with medics and professional designers who have created a comic series for young people living with the condition. Xanthe’s design was chosen to be turned into a professional artwork and was presented to her this week featuring her superhero creations ‘Super Nurse’ and ‘Insulin Thief’ as an art canvas.

“A bit like Type 1 Diabetes, every day is a battle, every day is different but as a family we have learned to do things like carb-count, work out insulin doses and inject and work through the highs and lows together,” Explained Xanthe’s mum Paula.

“She loves drawing and art so the comic book workshop with Lee Calladine from DRWF and Dr Patel from Southampton General Hospital really interested her. She designed her characters based on her own story really! How she played football and how the Insulin Thief raided her pancreas, and the Super Nurse gave her more insulin and made her better again to score the winning Goal!”

Danny McLaughlin, Master and Commander at Revolve Comics congratulated Xanthe on her designs. He said, “Everyone at Revolve Comics loves to see the creativity that comics can bring to young people along with learning. Well done to Xanthe on creating some brilliant artwork and wonderful characters that hopefully will inspire more young people living with diabetes to get creating their stories too"

The free virtual camps for children with type 1 diabetes in the UK are specifically for families with children with type 1 diabetes aged from birth to 17. A second one-day event is set to be held on 16 October 2021 (open to UK residents) Running from 9:30am to 10:30pm. Places are limited and the closing date for applications is 3rdSeptember. To apply to attend the October camp apply here

“The Camp in the Cloud event was really well received with 40 families - almost 150 people - attending the day. It was amazing! The concept of camp as a virtual experience allows us to reach those children with serious illnesses who may not be able to attend our physical venues due to a variety of reasons such as medical or mobility limitations,” Explained DRWF Chief Exec Sarah Tutton.

“In the future, we hope to support families of children with type 1 diabetes through a mix of virtual and residential events allowing children to experience the mischief and magic of camp, regardless of the constraints of their illness.”

Photos available to download https://we.tl/t-T0oHaNTPYF

Photo Captions

Photo 1 LtoR Jake, Belle Dad (Dave) Xanthe Mum (Paula) Taylor

Photo 2 Xanthe with her canvas

Photo 3 Xanthe with her canvas 2

Photo 4 The finished artwork on canvas

Photo 5/6 Xanthe’s original drawings

ENDS

DRWF Press contact: Claire Levy email: Claire.levy@drwf.org Mobile: 07813 948373

BACKGROUND

Xanthe and her family Paula (Mum) Dave (Dad), her brother Jake and sister Belle took part in this year’s first free virtual event - Camp in the cloud with Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation in partnership with Over The Wall. The online event on 27th March brought families together to understand more about living with type 1 diabetes and gave them the opportunity to talk to other parents and share advice and offer support. It also allowed the children to meet other children and share their experiences.

Lee Calladine Event Coordinator at DRWF, in collaboration with Consultant Physician in Diabetes, Dr Mayank Patel from University Hospital Southampton and member of the DRWF Editorial Advisory Board ran a comic book workshop at the virtual event.

“As co-creators of the Type 1 Diabetes comics series, Professor Partha Kar, Danny at Revolve and I have been blown away by how well this has been received by those living with type 1 diabetes and those close to them, healthcare professionals and members of the public. I was delighted to be approached by the DRWF to support their virtual diabetes family camp. To spend some time online, seeing and hearing from kids living with Type 1 Diabetes and their parents, whilst watching them create their own brilliant array of diabetes related comic characters live was absolutely fantastic! I think us grown up comic creator types have got some serious competition.” Explained Dr Patel.

This was the first workshop of this kind DRWF has hosted via video link at a virtual event. The workshop was a great success with lots of positive feedback from the families on its uniqueness, fun and engagement.

“Our creative comic book workshop was "Super", and the children blew us away with their imagination and diabetes hero and villain creations. We will be featuring their amazing drawings and stories on our website soon. A big well done to Xanthe for her chosen characters Super Nurse and Insulin Thief. We hope she loves her re-created comic book cover. Our work continues and we are very much looking forward to our next virtual camp in October and welcoming some new families. We wonder what creations our young diabetes campers will come up with then.” Said educational event coordinator at DRWF Lee Calladine.

Xanthe was only diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about seven months ago, so this is all very new to her and her family. Her mum Paula said “Xanthe is beside herself with excitement at being selected. She absolutely loves drawing and they found the camp to be of great support and help, especially meeting other families with children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

“Xanthe plays football three times a week and is pretty good! Recently she started to get tired on the pitch, lack motivation and didn’t seem interested so much to the point that the coach noticed and asked if she has asthma. I rang doctor (due to covid restrictions we couldn’t go in) and told them Xanthe’s symptoms over the phone. I asked if it was asthma specifically, but they said no it doesn’t sound like it. It was half-term and as the week went on, I noticed she was going to the toilet more and drinking lots! I knew something wasn't right and rang the doctors again and asked if they could do a urine sample as I thought she has a Urine infection (UTI). Xanthe went in and after they tested the sample, they told me I needed to get her to our local A&E immediately, as they suspected Xanthe had Type 1 Diabetes! I had no idea what this meant. At the time her blood-glucose level was 33 mmol/mol and she had ketones of 6. Life very quickly changed for all of us from this moment on. Everyone we have met has been amazing, and the diabetes community has been like getting a new family! Every group and person I have spoken to feel the same as we feel! You want something to blame but nothing is to blame.

“Then we were told about the Camp in the Cloud, and we decided as a family to do it. We dedicated our weekend to it and loved every minute! Xanthe was a bit nervous to begin with, but she started speaking more towards the end.”

Notes to editors:

  • The events, organised in collaboration with Over The Wall, follow the launch of their interactive, online programme - Camp in the Cloud.
  • The move to an online format follows the decision to cancel last year’s scheduled residential event during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Camp in the Cloud was launched specifically to address the needs of the children who were scheduled to attend Over The Wall’s residential camps in 2020, with the aim of bringing the magic of camp directly into their homes.
  • The first Over The Wall Camp in the Cloud events held this year involved delivering activity boxes to ‘campers’ and families right across the UK, with hundreds of children logging on to a bespoke online platform for a fully interactive camp experience.
  • It is currently estimated there are around 29,000 children in the UK living with type 1 diabetes.
  • For these young people, quality of life can be adversely affected by isolation and their inability to participate in many of the everyday activities enjoyed by their friends and peers.
  • This often results in a growing lack of self- esteem and confidence which can become a barrier to future growth and development.
  • Over The Wall’s residential programmes (rated outstanding by Ofsted), are designed to bring about transformational change, helping young people with long- term conditions to tackle these issues.
  • DRWF and Over The Wall worked together to host the first residential camp in 2019 specifically for families with children with type 1 diabetes in the hope that young campers return home with a new sense of their abilities and ambitions and feeling far less isolated.
  • Thanks to the generosity of DRWF supporters we gave 20 children living
    with type 1 diabetes and their families the experience of a residential camp at no cost to them.
  • The camp was a welcome addition to DRWF’s existing award-winning diabetes wellness event programme for which the charity received the Judges’ Special Award and Highly Commended in the Empowering People with Diabetes category, at the annual Quality in Care Diabetes Awards in 2017.

Subjects


  • The funding of scientific and clinical research studies
  • The promotion of screening, wellness and other health related programmes
  • The operation of a membership Diabetes Wellness Network encouraging the sharing of knowledge and the provision of professional advice
  • The organisation of events focused on the provision of practical advice and information
  • The dissemination of information on diabetes for the purpose of informing the general public on the symptoms, causes and effects of diabetes
  • The provision of advisory literature to diabetes clinics for distribution to patients
  • The establishment of community out-reach programmes

Press contacts

Claire Levy

Claire Levy

Press contact Public Relations PR and Community Fundraising

Related content

Charity supporting people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, through the provision of advice and services and funding research into a cure.

We aim to support people with diabetes, through the provision of advice and services, while the researchers we fund continue to work towards finding a cure.

We undertake national awareness campaigns to ensure the public are aware of diabetes, its risk factors, symptoms and potential complications.

We provide support to diabetes and related healthcare professionals in support of their patients through the provision of educational events and advisory literature.

We seek to achieve these goals by:
The funding of scientific and clinical research studies
The promotion of screening, wellness and other health related programmes
The operation of a membership Diabetes Wellness Network encouraging the sharing of knowledge and the provision of professional advice
The organisation of events focused on the provision of practical advice and information
The dissemination of information on diabetes for the purpose of informing the general public on the symptoms, causes and effects of diabetes
The provision of advisory literature to diabetes clinics for distribution to patients
The establishment of community out-reach programmes

Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation
Building 6000 Langstone Technology Park
PO9 1SA Havant
UK