About World Diabetes Day
World Diabetes Day (WDD) was established in 1991 by the World Health Organisation and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). This was in response to a growing concern around the increasing health threat posed by diabetes. The campaign aim to advocate the efforts made by IDF and also promote the importance of confronting diabetes as a critical global health issue.
Today is ‘World Diabetes Day 2017’, and with approximately 1,400 employees, Severfield would like to support the Day by sharing a recent story about one of our colleagues, Sam Burrows. Sam has type 1 diabetes and has recently taken part in a charity cycle ride, raising money for JDRF.
“I was 15, with my family in Ibiza, when the symptoms came. I needed to urinate about 20 times a day. And then my eyesight started to go. It was really scary. Within two weeks I lost two stone. I was in quite a bad way.
“It didn’t take long for the medics to diagnose type 1 diabetes – my father had it, although he didn’t get the symptoms until he was 32. “My pancreas wasn’t producing insulin, so I have to constantly monitor and regulate my blood sugar levels. I was taught how to inject. It was quite hard at first, but I soon got the hang of it.
“I have to inject myself every time I eat, and a long-lasting shot in the evening gets me through the night. There’s no cure yet, so as it stands I’ll be doing this all my life. That’s why I did the bike ride. “The ride was a grueller. Between the four of us we got six punctures, but we just pushed on. Ten miles into day one and it started to pour down, and it just didn’t stop – even when we got to Calais!
“By day two my knee went. It was incredibly sore. But I cracked on – because I knew everyone back home was rooting for me. We raised just upwards of £7,000, and I’d had great support from everyone at work.
“John McGuinness, our Health and Safety Advisor, has been brilliant. John worked with JDRF, so they could come and place money pots all around the site. “They gave a brilliant Toolbox Talk too –explaining exactly what type 1 diabetes is. I think that helped dispel a lot of myths.
“That’s another reason I did the ride – to show that people with type 1 diabetes can be fit and healthy but still suffer from the disease. I mean, how many people can say they have ridden from London to Amsterdam, and have had to inject themselves along the way.”
For further information about diabetes or for help and advice, see useful links below: