A MUM whose daughter has to be constantly monitored after being diagnosed with type one diabetes is taking on a cycling challenge.

Sara Chaplin, who lives in Thornton-le-Dale, has signed up for a 100-mile bike ride next month to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

Her daughter Ava was diagnosed at the age of two after Sara noticed she was drinking a lot.

Sara said: “At that moment our lives changed forever. Ava is now seven and so has lived with the disease for five years.

“On the difficult days when Ava asks if she will always have diabetes my answer is that there are some very clever people looking for a cure.

“This seems to help, the thought of a cure, the hope of a life without diabetes for Ava and others dealing with the disease.”

Sara said Ava was able to lead a fairly normal life, although she couldn’t eat a lot of sweet food and was unable to go on sleep-overs.

“The staff at Thornton Dale School have been great in dealing with Ava’s diabetes, I trust them with her care and I always feel she is being well looked after.”

Type one diabetes causes the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood to become too high. It happens when the body can’t produce enough of the hormone called insulin, which controls blood glucose. Daily injections of insulin are needed to keep blood glucose levels under control.

Sara said: “As a parent of a child with diabetes it is a huge responsibility to manage Ava’s sugar levels.

“She now has a sensor which gives continuous blood glucose readings but as she grows and changes it is still incredibly difficult to keep her levels steady. Night times are the hardest, with the risk of hypos which are seriously low blood sugars. Trying to keep her safe is a constant worry.”

Sara said she had been at a JDRF conference when she had heard about the bike challenge.

“I’ve not been on a bike properly for years and certainly nothing of that distance,” she said. “I started training from scratch in February and have been building up gradually. I am going out a couple of times a week and am now up to 63 miles.”

Sara is taking part in the Cycling Prudential Ride London, with Darren Ellis, owner of Overbook Caravan Park, where she works and her brother-in-law Ben Robinson.

Sara said: “It is a huge undertaking but it is for a cause which is very close to my heart.”

The ride takes place on August 3 and 4. To sponsor Sara, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/sara-chaplin