Tessa shines spotlight on type 1 diabetes

Tessa with Mimi AstleLocal MP Tessa Munt met 10-year-old Mimi in Westminster on 11 March to discuss the impact of type 1 diabetes on people’s lives at a Parliamentary event.

Mimi Astle from Cheddar was chosen to attend this special event called ‘Type 1 Parliament’ by JDRF – the global type 1 diabetes charity. She was one of sixty adults and children who live with the condition to be selected from across the country to represent their area.

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic and challenging condition. The exact cause is unclear, but it is not linked to lifestyle or diet.  A child diagnosed with it at the age of five faces up to 19,000 insulin injections and 50,000 finger prick tests by the time they are 18.

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My week living #belowtheline

Abseiling off Priddy churchMany MPs are invited to support good causes.

I’ve abseiled down Cheddar Gorge; been caving under the Mendips and most recently, I’ve been out collecting donations for victims of the floods in Somerset with fellow Lions Club members.

I even took part in a pancake race organised by Shelter, the homeless charity, last year alongside the BBC chief political correspondent, Nick Robinson.

Some months ago, the Bath based organisation ‘Send a Cow’ challenged me to spend a week Living Below the Line.

The challenge involves surviving on £1 a day to raise awareness of poverty in developing countries and to raise money to help pay for some of Africa’s poorest families to have livestock, training and support so they can help themselves out of poverty.

I’ll admit that by last Sunday, as I looked at the diary for my busy week ahead in London, I was just beginning to regret having accepted the challenge all those weeks ago, when March seemed such a long way off.

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Tessa Munt MP joins Axbridge Coffin Walk to highlight perils of ‘death trap’ stretch of road

Tessa-on-the-Coffin-WalkTessa joined 150 parents, children and cyclists, and even men on stilts in carrying coffins to echo calls to the county council to build a safe footpath on a busy Cheddar Valley road.

Supporters of the Coffin Lane Campaign piled into the Axbridge Town Square on Saturday to join the procession to Cross.

The procession went through West Street, on to Townsend carrying a banner, colourful placards and mock coffins to the Beer Garden at the New Inn, Cross.

The coffins were a reminder of the days when deceased residents of the workhouse were carried down this route to St Andrew’s Church, Compton Bishop, but also told of the current worries for those who have to walk or cycle along Cross Lane.

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Tessa’s campaign for advanced radiotherapy gains momentum

I recently read a shocking statistic: one single hospital in France treats more patients with advanced stereotactic radiotherapy than all the hospitals in England combined.

All our European neighbours routinely use advanced stereotactic methods to deliver radiotherapy and treat cancers.

So it’s no surprise to find nearly all our neighbours have higher cancer survival rates than us.  We’re languishing somewhere at the bottom of the survival league for some cancers, just above the Czech Republic and Poland.

Stereotactic radiotherapy – using machines like Gamma Knife and Cyberknife – uses high accuracy, is less toxic and results in a greater ability to control or cure cancers.

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