Talking Type 1 For JDRF UK, With St John Ambulance

This evening I was asked to give a presentation on behalf of JDRF UK (the juvenile diabetes research foundation) to St John Ambulance, and what a lovely event it was with great people. The St John Ambulance group, based in Cardiff, had asked the charity to have someone to come along and talk to them about living with type 1 diabetes and what JDRF does for children and their parents. The talk was to the adult branch of the organisation, I say this because they've got a great development scheme within St John, where there were groups right through the ages from primary school, through teens to adults. Which I think is great to raise awareness of first aid from a young age.

Before doing the talk and writing the presentation I contacted the group to find out what they wanted me to speak about, the popular topics were signs and symptoms of type 1 and what JDRF do to help people. So that's what I did, whilst talking about what it's like in the day of a life for someone with diabetes just to change the perspective because I appreciate that the volunteers at St John's may see the other end, when perhaps something has gone wrong. But I wanted to convey just how hard we work at the condition on a daily basis. I also talked a bit about sport and type 1 to show that having the condition doesn't need to stop you, and the differences between type 1 and 2 before asking for questions. Which in my opinion was the best part of the evening because the volunteers from St John were so kind and engaging that we had a great time learning together. I was able to answer the questions that they had on type 1, and they shared their stories about how diabetes has touched their lives and careers. Because that's the thing about diabetes, that it's becoming more and more prevalent and is affecting so many people, that it's so important to raise awareness at events such as this and to get the conversation going about diabetes.

It was great to get feedback at the end of the talk, as it was lovely to also hear from the people who don't have much to do with diabetes too. Some people said to me that they didn't realise the extent to which the initial symptoms of type 1 affect people. Or that so much time is taken up by blood sugar checks for example. But what made me so happy to hear, was when someone said to me that they didn't realise there was so much that you can still do without feeling restricted with diabetes and that made the evening so worthwhile for me. As well as having the pleasure to meet such nice people from St John Ambulance, that I hope to see again at JDRF UK events in the future.


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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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