Discovery Day – My First JDRF Event
After having diabetes for quite a while now I decided it was about time I went along and got involved in some of these discovery day events. I am glad I did, only wish I had made the effort to come along sooner. If you are in two minds about these days, I can definitely recommend taking the time to come along. It’s always good to meet up with other type 1’s, as well as hearing from a leading research doctor and some inspirational stories from others affected by diabetes.
Dr Yuk-Fun Liu – Research Talk
It was great to hear the latest updates from Dr Liu, Consultant at Guys and St Thomas’s NHS Trust. The team there are working hard trying to find a vaccine for the auto immune response associated with the onset of type 1 diabetes.
It was a really interesting talk on the work happening to try and help prevent type one, if you would like to know more about what’s happening in the research world, or even help in the research of a vaccine do check out the MultiPepT1De website. A great site full of great info and videos explaining what Dr Liu presented to us today.
Peter Davies – 60 Years living with Type 1
A truly inspirational man, who has lived with the challenge of type one diabetes for 60 years – Peter was diagnosed as a toddler. After 6 decades with T1, it was very reassuring to hear the only complication he has is slight background retinopathy. Peter very kindly bought along a selection of diabetic implements he has used over the years. I for one am very grateful that things have come along so far since Peter was diagnosed. Some of the needles he had to use as a youth are truly scary.
Peter also told us of his great adventure in 2014 where he climbed Kilimanjaro along with 18 other type 1’s. Just goes to show that type one doesn’t need to stop anybody doing the things they want to do in life.
Sam Webb – Living with type one as a teenager
Sam is 16 and has had type one for the past 8 years. It must have been very nerve racking standing up and giving a presentation at Sams age, although you wouldn’t have known it, I think a career in public speaking could be ahead for this young man. Discovery days are a great chance to give the opportunity for people like Sam to tell their story.
It was good to hear a positive approach to living with diabetes and such a great understanding of the condition from a young persons perspective. Teenage years are difficult enough without throwing diabetes into the mix. Sam came across very well and gave a great talk on how he lives with type one. He explained what an Omnipod was and how he controls his levels with it.
Helen Wills – Peer support for parents
Helen gave a really thought provoking talk about how parents to children with type one cope. I must admit until today I had never really thought about this aspect of diabetes. It is hard enough being diagnosed as an adult and having to learn how to cope with everything. It must be even harder when it is your child who has the diagnosis. You have to learn it all on their behalf and do the best you can to get everything right, and all the while making sure they still get the childhood every child deserves. Helen explained how hard all of this is, and how peer support is priceless in this journey. All in all it really made me look at diabetes from a different perspective.
Do have a look at Helen’s website, loads of brilliant articles on there, not all diabetes related either.
It was great to come along to this event today. I will be making the effort to be more involved with the work JDRF are doing. This work might well one day help find the elusive cure we are all waiting for.
I’m sure I heard somewhere the cure is just 10 years away now!
Take care, discovery is there