Ipswich woman receives medal after living with diabetes for 50 years

Claire recieved an award for 50 years of diabetes PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Claire Love received an award for 50 years of diabetes PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

An Ipswich woman who is one of only 267 registered people living with diabetes for more than 50 years has received an award.

Claire Love received The Alan Nabarro Medal which is awarded to people with type 1 diabetes and manage it on daily basis for more than five decades. 

She was diagnosed with the condition when she was 11 months old.

Claire recieved an award for 50 years of diabetes PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Claire Love received an award for 50 years of diabetes PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Mrs Love said: “My parents managed it, but obviously they weren't prepared for the disease at all.

"It was very unexpected. My dad managed it a lot better than my mum. She found it very difficult to inject every day a little baby."

Receiving the medal was very special for the 52-year-old as it shows how many years she has been living with diabetes. 

She wants to encourage people struggling with the disease to lead normal lives and not give up.

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Mrs Love said: “Life can be normal, it can be good. Diabetes doesn't stop you from doing anything you want to do.”

Mrs Love admits that the condition can be challenging at times and cannot be managed entirely.

She added: “Diabetes can be evil at times. And you don't just have to take it every day, week by week.

Claire recieved an award for 50 years of diabetes PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

The Alan Nabarro Medal PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

"Something can change suddenly, and then it takes ages to recover from it.

“Diabetics have to take on board low blood sugars. It is very important when you're driving or even when you're walking.

"You have to have food and sugar on you. In case blood sugar drops quickly, which it does. There are many things that you do get used to over time. You just have to.”

Medications and methods of treatment has changed over the years.

Claire recieved an award for 50 years of diabetes PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Claire Love received an award for 50 years of diabetes PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Mrs Love said: “When I was young all the injections or the blood testing kits were different. Now it's just literally attached to your arm and you can scan it. I mean, you can swim, you can jog or even fly.

"It’s so much easier to manage pregnancies nowadays. Everything used to be so much more difficult because the technology just wasn't there.”