Six-year-old diabetic goes to Holyrood to raise awareness


A SIX-YEAR-OLD girl with diabetes is taking on the Scottish Parliament to raise awareness of her illness.

Amalia Holman was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged three and is now lobbying MSPs after being invited along to Holyrood.

She was joined by medical research charity Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and her mum, Triinu.

Amalia, who is from Linlithgow, even handed out her own business cards to a number of MSPs.

The St Joseph’s Primary school pupil was diagnosed in January 2009 soon after her she developed an increased thirst.

Mrs Holman, 41, said:

“She was suddenly really thirsty and became obsessed with drinking.

“I was really concerned so I made a doctor’s appointment. That night she was in the bath and she was drinking the bath water. “

Amalia, who celebrated her sixth birthday on Monday, was soon diagnosed after a urine test found she had type 1diabetes.

After being taken to St John’s Hospital in Livingston she was then transferred by ambulance to Edinburgh’s Sick Kids hospital.

The diagnosis requires Amalia to receive several daily insulin injections.

Neither her mum, dad Dave, 36, nor her two siblings are diabetic.

Mrs Holman said:

“When I found out Amalia had type 1 diabetes, it didn’t make sense. I was in complete shock.

“For her first injections in the hospital, she had to be pinned down.

“She was screaming and kicking – it was a horrible time.

Amalia now uses an insulin pump which gives out insulin through a needle into her side and operates through remote control.

In America 45 per cent of people have access to an insulin pump whereas in Scotland only two per cent do.

Amalia also uses a Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGMS) which monitors her blood glucose level with an alarm sounding if the levels become too low or too high.

Like the insulin pump, the CGMS is not offered to all patients in Scotland.

Amalia’s parents decided to buy her CGMS themselves, costing over 1000, as NHS Lothian does not offer the machine to patients.

Mrs Holman said:

“Amalia understands her conditions and, despite her young age, is very passionate about helping other young people with it.

“However, hurdle we face is educating decision makers about type 1 diabetes so they are better informed when allocating funding.

Alastair Brookes, JDRF development manager, said:

“It is always a struggle to have loud voice in a sea of varying priorities but this is a very positive step forward. “