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Freya's Story: Passing on her experience of living with diabetes at school

Freya Haydon

Diagnosed 2014

I was just surprised to be called out of my primary school classroom as I didn’t feel ill.

Freya Haydon resists looking at photographs of herself when she was nine. That was when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and, as she says: “I had no idea what was going on at the time. Looking back, it upsets me to think about how I had to cope with everything that diabetes brings at such a young age.”



Freya, 19, lives in Dover, Kent, with her parents and a younger brother and is coming up to the 10th anniversary of her diagnosis. She is currently on a gap year and considering a career in the legal profession. As well as working, she has also trained to become a Young Leader for the Together Type 1 project at Diabetes UK.

Freya says:

“Both my parents are nurses so when I began showing some of the symptoms of type 1 diabetes it didn't take them long to decide that they should take me to hospital for a check-up. When I look back, I was just surprised to be called out of my primary school classroom as I didn’t feel ill.”

“A fingerprick test at the hospital came back at 21 which is very high. I stayed in hospital for a few days and, once back home, started to learn how to self-manage although with a lot of help from my mum in the early years.”

Life with diabetes

Living with diabetes and helping others

Not long after her diagnosis, Freya had to make the transition from primary to secondary school. She remembers times when she felt very self-conscious about having to leave the classroom or eat something if her blood glucose was low.

“I didn't want to stand out but sometimes I felt I had no choice.

“There have also been times when I felt very down because of the condition. I haven't looked at photographs of myself when I was nine before I was diagnosed because the reminder of how young I was would still upset me.”

Looking ahead, Freya is a very active volunteer for the Together Type 1 youth programme, passing on her experience of living with diabetes through primary, secondary and sixth form schools and also of navigating her teenage years with the condition.

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