My Inspiration: Jade Byrne | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Darlington actress Jade Byrne, who has screen credits in that of Inspector George Gently, Mount Pleasant and Casualty among others, releases her debut children’s book, ‘Daisy Donald,’ on November 14, World Diabetes Day.

As with her stage show, Pricks, Jade’s book, ‘Daisy Donald,’ will continue to raise awareness of Type 1 Diabetes, and funds for ‘her’ charity, the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) to which a portion of all book sales goes towards.

Earlier this year the JDRF made Jade one of its celebrity ambassadors alongside the likes of Jonny Labey and James Norton, Amelia Lily and Felicity Jones, as well as being named a DEXCOM Warrior and, most recently, an INSULET Podvocate.  

Ahead of the release, Jade, whose play Pricks has already had four runs and is preparing for number five early next year, spoke to us about her inspiration, her mum, Sue Byrne, who passed earlier this year.

My Mum is my inspiration. I had a mum who made me feel like Type 1 Diabetes was a superpower (similar to Daisy Donald). When I lost my Mum earlier this year to Acute Myeloid Leukaemia I felt I needed to make other people with Type 1 Diabetes feel as special as she made me feel. I’ve always wanted to write a children’s book as I love reading them to my kids so much and I love seeing their faces light up at the daft voices I put on; I also love books that rhyme too. So Daisy Donald had to rhyme. I wanted it to educate all children and adults about Type 1 Diabetes but ultimately entertain them all just like my theatre show Pricks does.

Pricks’ inspiration actually came from a glass of wine and a hypo at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. A hypo is an episode of low blood sugar where it drops below 3.9 and it needs to be above 5. As I was drinking the glass of wine, writing ideas down for what to create a show about, I realised my blood sugar was very low and that’s when it hit me, I needed to write about Type 1 Diabetes. I needed to educate people through entertainment.

“So I guess you could say that a glass of wine and a hypo has inspired all of this, but honestly the book definitely came from the loss of my mum. I’ve always felt that we can’t sit here and whine about people getting Type 1 Diabetes mixed up with Type 2 if we’re not getting off our bums and doing something about it. So that’s what I’m doing, I’m doing something about it.

Released on World Diabetes Day, November 14, Daisy Donald (illustrated by fellow Darlington creative, Hayley Smith) will be available on Amazon, and Jade’s Etsy shop, whilst further information will be available via her Facebook page.

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