Lis Warren has lived with type 1 diabetes since 1965. Having spoken to only a few others with diabetes in her first 4 decades with type 1, she’s now an active volunteer, patient advocate and a representative ‘expert by experience’ in NHS and diabetes research committees and with the diabetes charities. Lis believes that diabetes is only a word and not a sentence. She’s keen to help others recognise the positive attributes this condition encourages one to develop. Lis is passionate about the need for healthcare professionals to empower people; to care for themselves well – by providing ongoing education, clinical support and flagging sources of peer support.
Pete Davies was born in Kenya and has many happy memories of growing up in that beautiful country. Whilst his family were home on leave in the UK, Pete was diagnosed as having Type 1 diabetes: a dreadful shock for his family. However, he was put under the care of World-famous Dr RD Lawrence (who almost died from Type 1!). Thanks to the positivity of Pete’s parents and Dr Lawrence, his diagnosis did not prevent the family returning to East Africa. He was educated in Nairobi until he was almost 8 when his family returned to live in the UK. Pete became a teacher of Design & Technology – a subject he always loved. As a grandfather, he still enjoys a busy and very active life and takes a great interest in the exciting developments in Type 1 technology. He also spends time travelling to speak at conferences, JDRF Discovery Days and like Lis, he serves on committees whose aim is to improve the lives of those living with T1D. Pete has fascinating stories to tell which include the dramatic changes he has seen in diabetes treatment over the years, and he has an amazing collection of old Type 1 equipment which he loves people to be able to see. Pete also gives fascinating accounts of the challenging high-altitude treks and long-distance hikes he has taken part in since 2004.
In this episode Tom, Mary, Toni and the Diabetes Chat community asked questions to Pete and Lis and we learned about their 123 (combined) years of living with diabetes. We talked about:
– Their Diabetes Diagnosis & Journey; including what it was like growing with diabetes in the 50s and 60s.
– The technology they used to administer their insulin (syringe, injection guns, injections (mdi) and pumps) and what they used to check their blood glucose levels (Clinitest, Autolet, finger pricking meters, CGM).
– How Pete & Lis met and the things they have been involved in together.
– Hypo Awareness and their hypo experiences and challenges.
– Mental Health, Advocacy and the importance of peer support; including #TAD and #duckfiabetes.