"In 1963 when I was diagnosed with diabetes I was upset because at 13 I did not understand how it would affect my life. I was in hospital for six weeks and was shown how to do my injections by practising on an orange. It was diffficult at school as running around my blood sugar dropped. I soon learnt that if I did anything strenuous I had to have something sweet - a bit like putting fuel in a car.
It was the same when I went to work as i was a painter and decorator: up and down ladders all day. In 1989 I broke my ankle and due to the diabetes it did not heal properly ,and it led to a charcots joint. This meant a lengthy operation and left me with a fused ankle.
I have had my share of illnesses and had to have my right eye removed. I manage my diabetes fairly well I think,and after 50 years consider myself lucky.
I have applied for my Nabarro medal given after 50 years If anyone is scared if they are told they have diabetes, don't be. Things are improving daily and there is so much support out there. Live life and enjoy it. My next goal is 60 years."
Words by David