Meeting the Prime Minister and HRH the Duchess of Cornwall – JDRF 30 years of progress event

‘Camilla praises Theresa May for ‘boosting’ charity by talking about her life with diabetes’ – (something we can all be grateful for)

‘As President, it has been a privilege to meet those who live every day with 

type 1 diabetes, as well as their all-important families who do so much to support them.  They are at the heart of everything that this charity is doing.  And although this is a time to look back over the many achievements of the last thirty years, I know that everyone at JDRF is looking forward in the hope that a cure for this devastating disease will be found in the not too distant future.’ – HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

Meeting the Prime Minister Theresa May and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall last Wednesday night was an opportunity I never dreamed of having. Arriving at the Guildhall in London we were met by Kris from JDRF who told my parents and myself that in 10 minutes time id be speaking to The Prime Minister Theresa May. Fair to say I was very nervous! However after shaking her hand and being told to address her informally as Theresa, my nerves disappeared. We chatted about our diagnosis’s, and how Theresa managed her diabetes through her hectic schedule. We also spoke about my blog and how raising awareness for Type 1 was so important. I showed Theresa that I wore my insulin pump on one arm and my Freestyle Libre on the other and that i didn’t mind wearing my devices so publicly because it raises awareness. Theresa told me that she was just about to start using the Libre, so I couldn’t help giving her a tip! It was such a fantastic experience being able to talk to such a lovely and influential person about a disease we both face day in and day out. I also found out Theresa did a geography degree. We already have two similarities! – Does this mean I could be Prime Minister in the future?! haha. Speaking to Theresa’s PA afterwards she said she was impressed with how articulate I was when speaking to Theresa, I think I left an impression – and we have been asked down to Downing Street for a private tour!

“I am proud to support the important work of JDRF and it was a pleasure to join scientists, supporters and volunteers as they celebrate this important milestone.” – Prime Minister Theresa May

Throughout the night I met some amazing people who have really helped push the progress throughout the last 30 years, from researchers, to JDRF staff and the supporters. The speeches that were delivered were powerful and inspirational showing just how dedicated everyone is towards the end goal.

“Here at JDRF we never lose sight of the ultimate goal of finding the cure and creating a world without type 1 diabetes. As we look back at the accomplishments of the past 30 years it reinvigorates us to work even harder towards achieving this.” – Karen Addington, Chief Executive

One person who stood out to me throughout the night was a man who has lived with Type 1 diabetes for 70 years. When I was talking to him he told me that he was on injections and that he uses a Dexcom. Pulling the Dexcom receiver out of his pocket he had the straightest line of around 6.5mmol! He told me he had no complications because of his Type 1 and nothing wrong with his eyes. This man is my new inspiration. This just shows that you can do anything with Type 1 and live a normal and healthy life.

Later on in the night wearing my pod on the back on my arm I had many people asking me about it. Speaking to a few parents of Type 1’s at the event they said my pod was like a ‘party pod’ because it was painted with nail varnish! Haha! Someone else who’s eye my pod caught the attention of was HRH The Duchess of Cornwalls Personal Assistant. Seeing it and talking to my mum they called me over to explain it and explain why I wore it so boldly. A moment later I was speaking to The Duchess about my insulin pump and my everyday life with type 1. I was asked if lots of people ask what it was. Laughing and chatting I told The Duchess that I used to tell the Beaver Scouts that I was part robot as it was hard to explain to young children. Cue laughter from everyone around us! It was such a nerve racking and amazing experience speaking to The Duchess and my blood sugars completely agreed with the adrenaline I was feeling! Straight line on my libre going up!

It was such a privilege to be invited to the 30 years of progress event. It was amazing to see how every single fundraiser and advocate has helped JDRF’s projects throughout the last 30 years. So thank you to JDRF for everything the charity has done for Type 1 diabetes. But thank you to every single supporter because everything we do, big or small, helps towards that one goal that we all want.

Unity is strength … when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.

Lots of love The Backpacker and the Pod xxx

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