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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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Medal for Cumbrian woman who's lived with diabetes for 50 years

A woman from Irthington who has been given an award after battling diabetes for 50 years says she refuses to let her condition get her down.

Anne Bone photo
Anne Bone

Anne Bone, a patient at Brampton Medical Practice, was diagnosed with type one diabetes when she was four. Since then she has regularly needed insulin injections.

On Sunday, the 54-year-old was presented with the Alan Nabarro medal from Diabetes UK in recognition of the battle which diabetes sufferers cope with every day.

Mrs Bone said: “It’s an honour to be recognised with this medal as I was determined to mark 50 years of living with diabetes. It can be difficult but over the years I’ve realised that the secret is to be sensible but also to live your life at the same time.

“Nowadays people don’t see it as a reason to hamper your life as they may have done in years gone by.

“So I’d encourage anyone who is newly diagnosed to not feel disadvantaged, but to follow advice, eat healthily and make sure they take their medication and look after themselves.”

People with type one diabetes have to take insulin injections because the body does not produce any insulin to control levels of sugar in the blood. They must also take care to ensure that their glucose levels remain balanced.

If type 1 diabetes is left totally untreated, or if patients do not regularly take insulin and look after themselves, it can lead to serious health problems. Large amounts of glucose can damage blood vessels, nerves and organs.

In serious situations this can lead to eye damage causing blindness, the loss of limbs and kidney disease.

Mrs Bone explained:“In the 1960s when I was diagnosed, having insulin injections was a big deal. We used glass syringes and thick needles, both of which had to be sterilised by ourselves.”

The award is named after Alan Nabarro who, when he was diagnosed with diabetes in 1922, was given six months to live but lived for 55 years because of the discovery of insulin.

Joanne Melrose, a diabetes specialist and nurse at Brampton Medical Practice and who nominated Mrs Bone for the award, presented her with the medal on Sunday.

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