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44 years of being supported by Diabetes UK: Lynette is doing Swim 22 to give back

Lynette Cockburn from Birmingham is doing Swim 22 (11 miles option) to raise money and awareness of diabetes. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged 11 in 1979.

Lynette said: “The swim has got me out of the rut and back into society so all good so far.

I train at my local leisure centre and the other day I was nodding and smiling to my fellow swimmers when a woman stopped me and asked how many lengths I'd done. I'd increased to 12 and was grinning with pride. She pointed to my Dexcom on my arm and asked if I had diabetes. She told me her granddaughter had been diagnosed with type 1 last year when she was 10. We shared our stories about what it was like to be diagnosed in 1979 and 2023 and how things have continually improved for people with diabetes.”

About her diagnosis, Lynette said: “It was the usual story, I was incredibly thirsty, and couldn't stop peeing. I used to sit on the loo trying to drink out of the tap at the same time. We waited six weeks for a referral, and I went from being scrawny to being skeletal during the wait. I remember feeling relieved that I wasn't actually going to die!

I had my first insulin injection. It didn't bother me too much. What I can remember is feeling a little better within hours. For the next week my parents and I learned how I should eat, inject, exercise, deal with hypos which were called reactions back then."

"Loads of the information came from Diabetes UK. Through them I learned that I wasn't alone and that there was support available. I still love all the info 44 years later and I'm excited for the future for people with diabetes especially type 1. I am doing the swim as a way of giving back and helping with research. It might be only the 11 miles this year but could be 22 next year!”

Support Lynette here.

In her Swim22 page she states: “I've been supported by Diabetes UK in my type 1 diabetes journey for 44 years and want to give back to continue the work. I know we're all skint but every little helps.”

The symptoms of type 1 diabetes are the 4 Ts: Thirsty, Toilet, Tired and Thinner and they can develop at any age. 

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