Dedicated diabetes campaigner Sue Braeger, of Harold Hill, dies aged 59

A dedicated grandmother-of-two who was a driving force behind diabetes detection and treatment in east London, has died aged 59.

Tireless campaigner Sue Braeger, of Harold Hill, helped detect diabetes in hundreds of people across Havering and news of her death drew heartfelt tributes at the Full Council Meeting on Wednesday.

Sue, who received a Mayor’s Civic Award for her services to the diabetic community last year, lost her battle against ovarian cancer on Monday November 21.

Her lifelong commitment to diabetes began when she was just 17, a few months after husband Joe, now 64, was diagnosed with the disease.

Sue, mother to Chris, 37, was secretary of the Hackney Diabetes Group before moving to Havering 20 years ago.

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After reading a Romford Recorder story about a young mother starting a diabetes support group for children, she contacted the woman to offer her help, eventually becoming treasurer and chairman.

Sue raised thousands for the British Diabetes Association through barn dances, quiz nights and discos. She also held information days across the borough, including free blood screenings which helped detect high blood sugar levels in hundreds of people.

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Sue held information stalls at the Queen’s Hospital, Romford, every three weeks and helped raise money for a HbA1c machine – which measures glucose – at the children’s clinic.

Husband Joe said: “Her two great loves were fighting the ‘big wigs’ at the NHS and the PCT - and managing to do so without shouting, swearing or losing her temper - when diabetes services were going to be cut or stopped.

“Her second love was the children with diabetes, and children in general, especially her own two grandchildren, Emily, 11, and Connor, 8.

“She truly was a caring person whose philosophy was everyone was the same, from the cleaner to the Queen.

“She championed other people’s battles and won, but couldn’t win her own battle with cancer.”

President of Diabetes UK, Richard Lane, will give an eulogy at the funeral, to be held Friday December 2, at South Essex Crematorium, Ockendon Road, Upminster.

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