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Juliet and David's story

How Type 1 Events have helped us and our family

David was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2011 when he was eight. Since then, he’s been on three Type 1 Events, including a Family weekend with his mum, Juliet, and two week-long events for children. Here, David and Juliet explain what the Care Events mean to them and the difference they’ve made to their lives.

What was the impact of diagnosis?

Juliet: It has had a dramatic effect on our lives. I was a single parent and although my employers were generally very understanding I had to reduce my hours and income to care for David. I would wake up in the middle of the night worrying about how I was going to manage.

"I feel more normal with other Type 1s around me" says David

My first question to him is always ‘What are your bloods?’ and not ‘How was your day?’ People don’t realise that being the parent of a child with diabetes means providing care and support 24/7.

When did you first go on a Type 1 Event?

Juliet: About five months after David’s diagnosis we went on a Diabetes UK family weekend in Liddington. It was fantastic. Being able to talk to people who fully understand what it is like to live with a child with diabetes has been such a relief.

David: I’ve also been on two Diabetes UK children’s events. They were week-long trips where I met other children with Type 1 and took part in lots of activities.

Juliet: As a parent the best thing is that there is a team of dietitians, doctors and nurses on hand to look after the children. I always leave David knowing he will have a great time and that I can truly relax.

Can you tell us three things you learnt from a Type 1 Event?

David: That I am not the only one dealing with diabetes every day, tips and help for carb counting and more complex things to do with my pump and sensor like site changes and dual waves.

Juliet: I learnt a lot too. Like how to put his sensor on in a better way and tricks for carb counting when you don’t have scales.

How have the Type 1 Events made a difference?

Juliet: You gave David more confidence which meant he was willing to try new infusion sites. More importantly, he came back with renewed energy and a better attitude towards his diabetes because he felt less alone. Pump changes before have taken up to an hour with us both crying – there are far fewer emotional outbursts now. It’s made such a difference to our home life.

David: It’s easier to work out carbs when I am out and about. I feel more normal with other Type 1s around me which makes me feel like I am not the only one doing this every day.

"Being able to talk to people who fully understand what it is like to live with a child with diabetes has been such a relief" says Juliet

As a parent, what do the Type 1 Events mean to you?

When David goes on a Children’s event, it’s complete freedom from worry for one week. The only week in my life where I could sleep knowing that someone as capable as me was taking care of David.

I am eternally grateful for the respite they gave me from diabetes for one week.

What would you say to someone thinking about going on a Type 1 Event?

David: Do it! You can get help with diabetes and it is fun.

Juliet: We would 100 per cent go on another event. We would go every year if we could.

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