Hemel woman's '˜bucket list' wing walk for cousin
A Hemel Hempstead woman ticked off a bucket list experience and raised vital funds for diabetes research by taking to the skies on the wing of a biplane.
Natalie Wocka was inspired to take part in the wing walk adventure after her cousin’s son, Harry, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes a year ago, at the age of 12, when he fell in to severe diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and was critically ill in hospital.
Natalie, aged 35, did her wing walk at Damyns Hall Aerodrome, in Essex. So far she has raised £1,114 to support the work of type 1 diabetes research charity JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).
Natalie said: “This is one of my bucket list experiences, and to be able to support Harry’s bravery really spurred me on to do this challenge. I wanted to raise money for JDRF to thank them for all of the work they do for children everywhere, when they are diagnosed with such a challenging condition at a young age.”
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where, for reasons we don’t yet fully understand, the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The condition cannot be prevented, and is not linked to lifestyle factors.
JDRF funds research to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes.
Senior fundraiser for London and the east of England, Celia Joseph, said: “Congratulations to Natalie for taking on this amazing challenge.
“Without the amazing support from people like her and her family, JDRF would not be able to fund world-class type 1 diabetes research here in the UK. We really appreciate Natalie taking on this fundraising and for helping us to tackle type 1.”