world : Luck behind Happy Valley star's BBC diabetes story

world : Luck behind Happy Valley star's BBC diabetes story
world : Luck behind Happy Valley star's BBC diabetes story

Friday 14 June 2024 08:30 AM

Nafeza 2 world - A doctor has described a series of lucky events that led to a Happy Valley star reading her story on the BBC's CBeebies children's channel.

Dr Rose Stewart, a diabetes psychology specialist with the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in Wrexham, said this was always on her “wish list” but “never thought it would happen”.

She will have her book How to Manage a Mammoth read by actor James Norton as a CBeebies Bedtime story on Friday.

Dr Stewart hopes the special, which will be broadcasted during Diabetes Week 2024, will “raise awareness and reduce stigma on a massive, massive scale”.

The book, created in collaboration with NHS Wales, was written to help young children understand how they feel about living with diabetes, and encourages them to see it as something which will not go away, but which they can learn to accept and manage.

“There has been a series of lucky events - I went to a festival with my kids and we ended up in the wrong ticket queue, and we happened to be in the ticket queue with a whole load of staff from CBeebies," Dr Stewart told BBC Radio Wales Drive.

"So we got chatting to them, and then through our lovely contacts at JDRF diabetes charity, external, they were able to put us in touch with James and his team – and James said yes straight away.

“We have been lucky."

In How to Manage a Mammoth, eight-year-old Jake is learning to live with his diabetes by imagining it as a mammoth called Mel.

"Mel is magic because he changes size depending on how much of a problem Jake's diabetes is being on that day, so they go on lots of adventures together, working out how to manage Mel,” Dr Stewart said.

“James Norton, who lives with type 1 diabetes himself, is a really great advocate for diabetes.

“He is always doing awareness raising and helping with charities and fundraising, so he is a great person to have on board.”

To help families with children who have diabetes, BBC Bitesize Parents’ Toolkit has published an article featuring advice from Norton on coping with a diagnosis, tips from Diabetes UK experts, and insights from Dr Stewart on managing the condition.

"One of the biggest things that is stressful and difficult for people living with Type One is feeling lonely and feeling like other people don't understand it,” added Dr Stewart.

"For us to be able to get the story out on a massive platform like CBeebies with someone like James Norton, who has got such a wide-reaching audience, we're really hoping it will raise awareness and reduce stigma on a massive, massive scale and to help kids and families realise they're not alone."

Dr Rose Stewart's CBeebies Bedtime Story will air on CBeebies at 18:50BST on Friday 14 June.

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