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Silton girls set for English Channel swim challenge

By Blackmore Vale Magazine  |  Posted: February 04, 2013

Ellie Harris (right) and Katty Mackaness are getting ready to swim 22 miles for diabetes charities.

Ellie Harris (right) and Katty Mackaness are getting ready to swim 22 miles for diabetes charities.

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TWO school friends are planning to swim the distance of the English Channel to raise money for diabetes charities.

Ellie Harris from Silton is 12 years old and was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of four.

Since then, she has had to monitor her carbohydrate intake and inject insulin four times a day to manage her sugar levels.

Along with school friend and swimming partner Katty Mackaness, 13, Ellie has decided to take part in the Diabetes UK Channel Swim Challenge.

Between them, Ellie and Katty hope to swim 22 miles (or 1416 lengths of the Port Regis pool) in just ten hours on Sunday 10th February. Proceeds will be split between the charity and Junior Diabetes Research Foundation.

The girls have already received tremendous support, and their tally was approaching £1,800 on Tuesday. A further boost will come when pupils and staff at Port Regis School each pay £1 to wear denim for the school's Denim for Diabetes Day on Friday 8th February.

Ellie said: "Were very excited and training is going well.

"A big thank you to everyone who has already sponsored us, we are both so grateful for your support and generosity towards two such worthwhile charities."

Apart from raising money for charity, Ellie also hopes the challenge will help to raise awareness of her condition. She said she is frustrated by the lack of distinction between Type 1 diabetes, when the pancreas stops producing insulin, which is not hereditary and develops, often in children, for no known reason. With Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas struggles to produce enough insulin, often as a result of old age, poor diet or obesity.

Ellie will need to inject insulin to manage her diabetes during the swimming challenge.

To make a donation towards Ellie and Katty's Channel Swim challenge, visit www.justgiving.com/swim22channelchallenge

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