Mike met with representatives of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to learn about type 1 diabetes and find out how the charity is funding research in order to find a cure for the condition. After hearing about the realities of living with type 1 diabetes, Mike promised to be open to the idea of championing issues for people living with t1 in his constituency.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that occurs when the body’s immune system turns on itself and attacks the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. This means that people with type 1 diabetes cannot control their blood glucose levels.
Type 1 diabetes should not be confused with type 2 diabetes. It is not linked to lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise. There is nothing that the person could have done to stop them developing the disease.
Mike was surprised to learn that around 500 people in Hove and Portslade are likely to have type 1 diabetes. He said, “Before meeting with JDRF, I didn’t have much knowledge about type 1 diabetes. Now I understand that it is a serious, life threatening condition. I would urge any constituents who are having problems in accessing appropriate treatment to contact me.”
Laura Vallance, Head of Public Affairs at JDRF said, “Type 1 diabetes affects around 350,000 people in the UK. Currently, there is no cure for this hidden condition and people with type 1 rely on multiple daily insulin injections just to stay alive. If you or a family member have type 1 diabetes and you would like to get involved in campaigning for better access to medical technology, go to our website to find out more.”