Andy Lavender, from Deeside, has received a medal from Diabetes UK for living with Type 1 diabetes for 50 years.
Andy was diagnosed with the condition in 1968 at just two years old, after his parents noticed some very common symptoms of the Type 1 diabetes.
Andy said, “I don’t remember a time before I was diagnosed. My parents told me I was drinking a lot and had started wetting the bed, something I hadn’t done for many months.”
Technology you couldn’t imagine
Andy has seen life with Type 1 change enormously over the years, especially when it comes to the technology now available.
“In 1968 there were no disposable syringes. I used glass syringes which had to be sterilised. I had to follow a strict diet, eating at set times, and testing my urine to see what my blood sugar level was. Now there are insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitoring, flash glucose monitoring: technology that back then you couldn’t imagine!”
“Type 1 doesn’t control me”
Despite struggles during his teenage years, Andy now approaches life with Type 1 with determination and a positive attitude.
Andy continued, “My life with diabetes has been challenging and colourful! I have had struggles over the years, but I have learnt that all you can do is accept it. You don’t have to like it and you can’t yet cure it, but you can take control of it. I control my Type 1, it doesn’t control me. I don’t let it stop me from doing anything.”
Andy was presented with the Alan Nabarro medal by Diabetes UK Cymru. Alan Nabarro waged a lifelong battle against discrimination against people with diabetes. In 1968 Alan Nabarro was awarded the OBE for his work with young people in London.
Find out how to nominate someone for a Diabetes UK medal.