Whilst at the Just DUK 1T launch this last weekend in Scotland, there were many words that kept popping up such as inspirational, success, achievement and support. Especially in describing the young people that had created the website. But one of the words that you might not have expected to hear was serendipity.

The dictionary definition states that serendipity is a happy accident or a fortunate surprise. More specifically the word relates to finding something good or useful when not necessarily looking for it. But how this relates to the weekend, was that there were many fortunate surprises such as the fact that having a chronic illness was what had brought us all together or how the difficulties each of us have faced can act as good advice for others. Or even in how people came to be in attendance at the launch for example another young person - Mike who attended the event with me from Wales, and also belongs to the Welsh young persons project group for example.

The first time Mike and I met was on a train to north Wales, as I mentioned we'd never met before despite having both volunteered as media ambassador's for Diabetes UK for years. We soon got chatting on the train together and quickly realised that we had been living in the same small apartment complex for the last year! Now we're friends and are currently putting our time into planning the creation of a support group together.

At the Just DUK 1T event the room was decorated with lots of fun things such as branded balloons, hook a duck competitions and Diabetes UK blow up clappers. But one of the things that immediately drew your attention when entering the room was the amazing art work on the walls. Closer inspection actually revealed that they were fantastic comic book sequences. Drawn by professional comic book artist Terry Anderson.

Done in a quirky and cool way the colourful cartoons had a dual purpose. Whilst looking like fantastic art work on the wall, they also told a story. Introduced at the launch event we were told that the cartoons resembling story boards were inspired by one of the 'Just DUK 1T' young people. She wrote down the story of her diagnosis for Terry and he interpreted it into a cartoon strip. The strip begins with a person walking along in the sunshine with no troubles- which represents the time at pre-diagnosis of diabetes. All of a sudden the symptoms of toilet, tired, thirsty and thinner come on and start effecting the person in the story. They start getting down and don't know what's going on so they go and visit their doctor to find out what's going on. The person continues to feel down and under the weather until they go to the hospital and start taking injections. One week later and the person is leaping about and back to normal with a smile on their face.

I particularly liked the cartoon strip by Terry because it's an innovative and stylish way to tell the diabetes story. And speaking to the Anderson family after the event they had their own story to tell about diabetes diagnosis. Which meant that Terry understood better than most the story and how it had made the creator feel about herself and her condition. Once again it was serendipity in motion bringing people related to diabetes together to achieve great things.

                                                                                                           Cartoon Artist Terry Anderson


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.


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