VISITING 10 DOWNING STREET AND BEING INSPIRED TO NOT LET TYPE 1 DIABETES HOLD ME BACK
Last Friday I visited 10 Downing Street with my family and proudly stood in front of the famous door with my FreeStyle Libre on my arm and insulin pump on my back, being inspired to not let type 1 diabetes hold me back.
We were invited personally by the current Prime Minister Theresa May when I chatted to her about her type 1 diabetes and how she managed the condition at JDRF’s 30 years of progress event last year.
Arriving at Downing Street with my JDRF banner and standing outside the front door where Theresa May resides was such a surreal experience.
When you get diagnosed with type 1 you’re often told that the condition doesn’t stop you doing anything (apart from being in the army or being an astronaut) but sometimes it’s hard to actually believe this, especially when the person is normally a health care professional who usually doesn’t live with diabetes.
However standing there I felt a sense of pride. Whether you support the Conservative Party, the Labour Party or any other, Theresa May shows us that type 1 diabetes has not held her back.
For me this shows her as a positive role model, showing all of us that we can do whatever we want and although diabetes may make it a little more tricky, or we have to take a different path, we can achieve our dreams.
I think being a Prime Minister is one heck of a dream!
Being able to have this opportunity with my family was such a special experience. My Mum, Dad and sister ,who have been there for me since day one helping carb count, attending hospital appointments and occasionally providing a shoulder to cry on were now stood beside me once again helping to spread the word about type 1 diabetes.
Inside Downing Street we were greeted by our tour guide Michael who explained to us the history behind Number 10.
Walking through the main entrance we were encouraged to sit on a well-worn looking armchair that was once Winston Churchill’s thinking chair, covered in scratch marks from when he sat and thought with a whisky and a cigar.
As we made our way through the house we learned that the black bricks that cover Downing Street are actually not black. The bricks are painted to represent the London smog from the 19th century, and painters had to paint the individual white lines between the bricks in!
Heading towards the main staircase (the one featured in Love Actually where Hugh Grant danced down) was impressive with its yellow walls and black and white photos of all the past Prime Ministers David Cameron hasn’t got his up there yet!. At the bottom of the stairs resides a massive globe, which, as a geography student, I was very fond of!
The Cabinet Room was one of the most impressive rooms in Downing Street where weekly the Cabinet meets. We couldn’t resist having a seat in the PM’s seat where the Queen has also sat when she attended Cabinet.
Leaving Number 10 after a fantastic tour and standing outside 10 Downing street with my omnipod insulin pump on my back and my FreeStyleLibre on my arm reminded me that I can do anything I put my mind to.
Theresa May lives with type 1 diabetes and studied geography at university. Two similarities with me – perhaps I could be the next Prime Minister!
This article can also be found on the JDRF website.