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Marathon swim tribute to mum
A YORK student who lost her mother to diabetes when she was only 11 has embarked on four months of sponsored swims to raise funds for research into the condition.
Shannon Kennedy, 18, a student at Bootham School, lost her mother Vicki following a long struggle to come to terms with the regular insulin injections and diet needed to control type one diabetes.
Shannon said: “She had had diabetes from the age of ten and ended up blind from it by about the age of 16. She had to have a kidney transplant just after I was born.
“She found it very hard to keep under control and said she couldn’t look after me and needed some help. I had to learn from a young age how to do the injections for her. I looked after her for the last years.”
Unable to cope with her condition and a young child, Shannon’s mother sent her to live with her aunt and uncle.
“She died aged 33,” said Shannon. “She was really young. I came home from school and my aunt and uncle sat me down and I thought ‘oh God, this is not good’.”
Her mother’s tragic story is behind Shannon’s attempt to raise awareness of the importance of keeping up good diabetes control, while raising hundreds of pounds for charity.
She said: “I want to raise this money for Diabetes UK so that other children do not have to lose their parents to diabetes as it can be fought.
“I started the swim on April 22 and I’m doing ten laps a day. I’m aiming to finish on July 22. I will go on through my summer holidays, but it will be worth it.”
If you would like to sponsor Shannon, go to her Just Giving page at justgiving.com/ shannon-kennedy