Cheshire teenager living with diabetes presents artwork in the House of Commons

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A teenager from Elton has shared a moving portrait of life with type 1 diabetes as part of an exhibit on the impact of the disease.

Lucy King, 14, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at just two years old, submitted a drawing that expresses her life experiences with the disease and the stress and anxiety it can cause.

Lucy, who uses an insulin pump and blood sugar monitor to help manage her diabetes, said: “I created this work to show how I feel on a bad day.

“I worry about my insulin pump going off when I’m at school because I’m being watched and sometimes people say mean things to me. I worry about treating depression at school and giving insulin.

“One time my pod broke down and made a howling noise. I ran out of class as fast as I could. Sometimes I just want to block out all the noise and alarms, that’s why I painted a girl covering her ears.”

Lucy’s mother, Amy King, shared the family’s pride in their daughter’s accomplishments.

She added: “We are incredibly proud of Lucy and the bravery she has shown in sharing her experiences. She has always really enjoyed art at school and it was the perfect way for her to express her feelings. feelings about diabetes.

“We were lucky because Lucy always had great support from her diabetes team. It is so important that anyone living with diabetes receives the proper care and support, especially when they are struggling to live with the disease.

Lucy’s drawing was displayed in the House of Commons last month to coincide with the launch of a Diabetes UK report highlighting the devastating delays in care for people with diabetes.

Launched as part of the charity’s Diabetes is Serious campaign, the report – Recovering Diabetes Care: Preventing the Mounting Crisis – shows the scale of the problem and sets out a series of calls for the UK government to take action. attack there.

Lucy added: “Having to manage diabetes can make you feel different from others, especially when you have to leave class to take your insulin or have sweets in class to treat a hypo. Sometimes other students think I’m lying to get out of class or ask why you’re allowed candy and they don’t.

“At times like this, you just want it all to go away. But if you look closely at my drawing, you’ll see a hint of yellow in the pencil, which represents brighter, happier times. They always come back, especially if you have the right support.

Clare Howarth, North of England manager at Diabetes UK, said: ‘We don’t often hear about the difficulties of diabetes, we try to focus on that it doesn’t have to limit us in life. , but it’s really important to recognize how difficult it can be. We were incredibly moved by Lucy’s artwork and her bravery in speaking out about the struggles that can come with diabetes.

“As well as resonating with so many people with the disease and hopefully breaking some of the stigma associated with diabetes, it also highlights why it is so important for people with diabetes to get the care and support they deserve. A huge congratulations to Lucy and thank you for this beautiful and moving contribution.

Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, who attended the launch of the Diabetes UK report in Parliament, added: “It was with great pride that I was able to see Lucy’s moving work in Parliament during the launch of the Diabetes UK report on diabetes care.

“Lucy’s powerful words, describing the impact of diabetes on people with the disease, demonstrate why it is so important that people with the disease receive the care and support they deserve.

“That’s why I support Diabetes UK’s call for a fully funded post-pandemic recovery plan for diabetes care.”

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