A YOUNG boy with Type 1 diabetes has found a new lease of life after being taught to fish by a local angler.

Ayden Dolan, 10, from Chepstow, suffers from hypo unawareness, meaning he is unable to notice when his blood sugar falls.

This makes playing sports difficult. Ayden's mother, Nicola, said her son loved playing football but was regularly hampered by his condition.

"His blood sugar drops so quickly," Ms Dolan said. "He's a typical 10 year old – he wants to play, but when his blood sugar drops, he has to go away to treat it. It's frustrating for him."

Needing to find a more relaxed hobby, Ayden told his mother he had always wanted to try fishing, and Ms Dolan was overjoyed when local angler Norm Sterry offered to show her son the basics.

"I think it's such a lovely thing for somebody to do," Ms Dolan said. "There aren't many people out there who'd go to those lengths to help somebody."


By all accounts, Ayden has discovered a hidden talent for fishing.

"At first, he came to watch [at Mathern Fishery], then I let him use all the kit – he caught a 15-pound carp on his first day," Mr Sterry said. "I could see he was a natural talent. He loves fishing."

Ayden's enthusiasm for his new hobby was clear after a recent bout of illness, Mr Sterry said. The first thing the 10-year-old wanted to do after leaving hospital was get back to the lake.

There has been wider support for Ayden's new hobby from across the UK. After Mr Sterry put out a message asking for any other fisherman to donate surplus equipment, Ayden was inundated with a whole range of kit sent from up and down the country.

"It's been quite emotional," Mr Sterry said. "We've also got all his friends down [to the fishery] – they all caught big fish and we hope to do something a bit bigger next year."