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Philip’s medal for 50 years with Type 1 diabetes

Philip Chapman from Abertillery has received the Alan Nabarro medal from Diabetes UK for living with diabetes for 50 years.


Philip was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was just seven years old.

He has never let it stop him from doing what he loves. He was a plasterer for 41 years, and played rugby union until he was 40.

Courage and perseverance

The Alan Nabarro medal recognises courage and perseverance in handling the condition. It is named after Alan Nabarro, who waged a lifelong battle against discrimination against people with diabetes. In 1968 he was awarded the OBE for his work with young people.

"Technology is constantly improving"

Philip said, “Diabetes care has changed a lot over the years. We had no blood glucose test machines, the syringes back then were made of glass and stainless steel and the needles were a lot thicker and less sharp than they are today. Technology is constantly improving and it is now far easier to manage diabetes than ever.

“My advice to live a long and fulfilling life with diabetes would be to manage your condition as well as you can. Don’t bury your head in the sand. You can live a long and healthy life with diabetes as long as you commit to a healthy lifestyle and learn as much as you can about how to self-manage.”

Our National Director, Dai Williams, said, “Philip is an inspiration and has really shown how taking control of your diabetes can lead to a long and healthy life.

“Diabetes is a serious and complex condition. If poorly managed it can lead to devastating complications such as blindness, amputation and stroke. But with the right care throughout their lives, people like Philip can manage the condition well and reduce the risk of developing complications.”

Find out more about our diabetes medals.

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