A TEENAGER from Elton has shared a moving portrait of life with type 1 diabetes as part of an exhibition on the impact of the condition.
Lucy King, 14, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at just two years old, submitted a drawing which expressed her experiences of living with the condition and the stress and anxiety it can cause.
Lucy, who uses an insulin pump and a blood glucose monitor to help her manage her diabetes, said: “I created this piece of work to show how I feel on a bad day.
“I worry about my insulin pump alarming when I’m in school because I get looked at and sometimes people say mean things to me. I worry about treating lows in school and giving insulin.
“One time, my pod failed and made a screaming noise. I ran from the class as fast as I could. Sometimes I just want to block out all the noise and the alarms, this is why I painted a girl covering her ears.”
Lucy’s mum, Amy King, shared the family’s pride in their daughter’s achievements.
She added: “We’re incredibly proud of Lucy and the bravery she’s shown in sharing her experiences. She’s always really enjoyed art at school and this was the perfect way for her to express her feelings about diabetes.
“We’ve been lucky in that Lucy has always had great support from her diabetes team. It’s so important that anyone living with diabetes gets the right care and support, especially when they’re finding in hard to live with the condition.”
Lucy’s drawing went on display in the House of Commons last month to coincide with the launch of a report from Diabetes UK highlighting devastating delays in care for people living 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 to the UK Government to tackle it.
Lucy added: “Having to manage diabetes can make you feel different to everyone else, especially when you have leave class to take your insulin or have sweets in class to treat a hypo. Sometimes other pupils think I am lying to get out of class or ask why you get to have sweets and they don’t.
“At times like that you just want it all to go away. But if you look closely at my drawing, you will see a splash of yellow in the pencil, which represents brighter, happier times. They always come round again, especially if you have the right support.”
Clare Howarth, head of the North of England at Diabetes UK, said: “We don’t often hear about the difficulties that come with diabetes, we try and focus on the fact that it doesn’t have to limit us in life but it’s really important to acknowledge how hard it can be. We’ve been incredibly moved by Lucy’s artwork and the bravery she’s shown in talking about the struggles that can come with diabetes.
“As well as resonating with so many people living with the condition and hopefully breaking some of the stigma associated with diabetes, it also shines a light on why it’s so important for people with diabetes to get the care and support that they deserve. A huge well done to Lucy and thank you for such a beautiful and moving contribution.”
Justin Madders MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, who attended the launch of Diabetes UK’s report in Parliament, added: “It was with great pride that I got to see Lucy’s moving artwork in Parliament at the launch of Diabetes UK’s report into diabetes care.
“Lucy’s powerful words, describing the impact of diabetes on those living with the condition, demonstrate why it’s so important that people living with the condition get the care and support that they deserve.
“This is why I’m supporting Diabetes UK’s call for a fully funded, post-pandemic recovery plan for diabetes care.”