Having both been diagnosed with T1 diabetes in our teens, my brother, Kip, and I have each experienced the condition for over 50 years. In fact, between us we can, dare I say boast, amass 118 years of living with diabetes.
Back in those early days we would use glass syringes with metal needles that had to be sterilised every 6 days and stored in surgical spirit, and learned our blood sugars once every 6 months after a tediously long 2 – 3-hour long appointment at our nearest hospital.
There is no questioning the fact that advancements in both understanding and dealing with the condition have been huge in the intervening 50+ years much to the benefit of us as patients.
Insulin delivery is now with an injection device that more resembles a slick fountain pen than a syringe that can be used with the utmost discretion even in public places. Progress is now to automatic delivery pumps linked by technology to blood sugar readers and our mobile phones. And as for learning our blood sugars thanks to the Freestyle Libre system I now read my own sugar levels at least 20 times a day, and without breaking my skin suffice to fixing a new sensor once a fortnight.
It is such advances that Diabetes Norfolk and previously the Norfolk Diabetes Trust have helped to disseminate amongst the diabetes engaged population of Norfolk. Funding the training of nurses, producing patient information, purchasing extra supplies of technical products when the NHS can’t and to a lesser extent funding research. All patient biased and directed.
It is this work and funding that Diabetes Norfolk must continue to carry out. Without the generous support of the people of Norfolk this would not be possible. We continue to thank you profusely.