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Local support makes all the difference

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A Diaetes UK local support group member Ian Hunter was presented with a medal by South Shields mid-fielder Julio Arca in recognition of living with diabetes for 50 years.

Ian, aged 54, received the Alan Narbarro medal granted by Diabetes UK at Mariners Park in South Shields in recognition of the courage and perseverance of living with diabetes for over 50 years. 

When presented with the medal, Ian said: “I was delighted when it was Julio who was presenting the award.”Sunderland fan Ian, who has Type 1 diabetes and needs four insulin injections a day has been a member of theWashington Diabetes UK groupever since it was set up four years. Ian also suffers from Epilepsy, coeliac and underactive thyroid.

Ian said: “People don’t realise what other conditions come with diabetes. I was diagnosed at the age of 2 in 1964.  All I remember is pain in my arms and glass syringes – I had two injections a day.”

The group meets once every two months at Washington Leisure Centre and has around 20 members.

Dietitians and doctors regularly visit the group to offer advice and tips on how to manage diabetes more effectively. 

Christine Fox, Volunteer Development Manager for Diabetes UK Northern and Yorkshire, said: When speaking with Ian, you can see how proud he is of being presented with this award. He feels people really don’t understand the everyday battles that come with having a long term health problem such as diabetes. Well done Ian for managing his diabetes."

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