Charity Community

Friends heading to the top of the world

A local couple have enlisted close friends for Kilimanjaro challenge in order to raise money to a charity close to their hearts.

Matthew Trapnell and his wife Jody have set themselves a task with good friends Tracey and Dave Tasker to climb Mount Kilimanjaro next year. Dave & Mat both will be turning 50 the end of 2023 so they wanted to do something memorable, rewarding and challenging.

The foursome are aiming to raise £20,000 and have set themselves a target of £5,000 each to raise all for the diabetes charity, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). This is a charity close to the hearts of Matthew & Jodie, as their son Harry was diagnosed with Type 1 5 years ago just before his 3rd birthday.

Mat told us “Harry has type 1 which is where your body has stopped producing insulin and any food he has we have to count his carbohydrates and every time he eats we’ll calculate how much insulin he needs based on time of day, what he has eaten and how he has eaten it. If his blood sugar levels too high, we have to give him some insulin to bring it down and if it’s too low he’ll have what’s called a Hypo, so we will have to give him some fast-acting glucose, jelly babies etc to get the blood sugar back up”.

“Harry got diagnosed just before his 3rd birthday and even in that short period of time how we monitor it and check it and keep it under control is changing all the time with new technology which help us regulate his levels and be on top of it. It’s a condition you really can’t muck about with you can do what you want, eat what you want & drink what you want but if you don’t look after then it can lead to severe complications, if you go into a Hypo you can go into a coma and have life changing effects. If you have the opposite a hyper and not dealt with you can do damage to your internal organs. It’s important to keep on top of it.”.

“Harry is young and we have to do more for his care in terms to make sure we’re on top of it, but Harry never moans, never said ‘Why me?’ he just gets on with it. He has a sensor so we can monitor. The school is amazing and they do training so they understand his condition. Harry knows how he is feeling so can say to us, we can check and treat at the time.

“He is such a good little boy, it is a tough condition for anyone but for children they always want the wrong foods, the sweets and cakes, and we have to manage that with him. As a parent you don’t want to miss out but we can’t let him eat all the wrong things but with manage it. We just want him to make sure he can still be a kid. As we grow with this Harry will understand more and how he has to manage it so that he is equipped for when he is older”.

Dave Tasker and Matthew have done many challenges raising money for different charities over the years like long distance bike rides that has raised thousands to date. Matthew added “With this challenge we decided to raise money for JDRF they specifically look after children with type 1 diabetes. We’re no strangers to this, we are all fit and healthy and know what to expect with the conditions. We go to the gym and do lots of running and cycling and it’s a great thing for Harry to see us keep fit and healthy. If you are type 1 it’s good to keep your exercise up and hopefully we are setting a good example to Harry”.

Matthew tells us about how Harry was diagnosed and wants to raise awareness for and how parents can notice and deal with it. Matthew said “A week before Harry was diagnosed very early just before 3rd birthday. Up until that point he was a happy healthy boy. What we noticed is that he was a bit clammy and face was flushed, we put that down to him being an active kid and was always on the go. What follow that is you’d give him his hot water bottle and had an unlimited thirst. He was going to the toilet regularly. We knew something wasn’t right but didn’t know what it was, we thought he may have a water infection.

“This went on for 3 or 4 days and the thirst was getting more and more and we decided harry needed to be checked out so we went to the GP and did checks and needed to get checked out without alarming us so we were sent to Winchester hospital they did a finger prick and almost instantly said that Harry was Type 1.

“As a parent it’s a shock, you’re thinking what have we done and what you realise there is nothing you can do it’s an autoimmune condition and it can happen to any parent or any person. There’s nothing you can do to control it, type 1 basically happens or doesn’t happen. It’s a massive learning curve.

“They kept him overnight and typical Harry when he woke, he said he was hungry and this lady across from us offered him a banana. I can remember thinking, I’m not sure what he can have if he can have it and, in that moment, felt so hopeless. The medical team came in and said who wants to do the first insulin injection. You just realise that life is going to be different from now on but you got to roll your sleeves up and go with it and ensure that Harry still maintains a good way of life. For any parent out there, that may go through with this, there’s no reason for you to feel guilty, you will but it’s not your fault the quicker you learn and embrace it the better the outcome will be for yourself and your child”.

Below are the “4 Ts” – the possible Type 1 signs for parents to look out for in their children.

Thirsty: is you child drinking more often unquenchable thirst?

Tired: feeling more tide have less energy?

Thinner: losing weight for no clear reason?

Toilet: are they urinating more or unexpectedly wetting the bed? These could be the early signs of type 1 in your child which can come on very quickly at any age and shouldn’t be ignored.

To find out more and to donate visit

On the 3rd November 2023 we will be attempting a 10 day trek to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro! The highest mountain in Africa and the highest single free-standing mountain above sea level in the world, standing at 5896m.

The Challenge: