Hold The Front Page!

This is me and Milo, a waiter from The Hotel Du Vin in Tunbridge Wells. We were posing for Times photographer Teri Pengilley trying to illustrate my story in tomorrow's Times. It was tricky to get the whole idea of living with diabetes, carbohydrate counting confusion and insulin injections while still trying to be informative and vaguely amusing. But we gave it our best shot or Teri did.








The full story story in The Times here:


Jadie And Tia

This is Jadie, age 10 who has had diabetes for just 3 months. We did the shoot in my local park, she's roller-skating with her dog, Tia. Recently diagnosed she is still getting used to her new life with diabetes. She says....

To begin with it  wasn't so bad  did my own bloods from the begining and then started injecting myself after about 3 weeks . had a bad week this month because my injections started to hurt and  I don't want to be diabetic anymore but it has it’s plus sides, I can eat in class when my friends can't. Being diabetic hasn't stopped me doing anything, I go roller skating nearly every day and Tia can pull me along. I swim with my friends and love playing on my trampoline. I don't feel any different to my friends but they all know if  have a hypo when I am with them, as long as  have my packet of dextrose tablets with me  I am fine’

Hypo Photo

This is 9 year old Hannah Lawton posing at the edge of her friend’s pool in Speldhurst, Kent. It was a shockingly hot day leading me to experience a hypo during the shoot. Luckily her mum, Helen was close at hand with a good supply of jelly beans. Hannah says....

I enjoy swimming because it's great fun and energetic. It gives me a lot of exercise so I have to remember to take some extra sugar or jelly beans. I also enjoy dancing and do tap, jazz and freestyle every week. I think keeping active is very important to stay healthy and it's fun too!

Respect For The Rap Don

This is south London born and bred, Mercury award-nominated rapper, Ty. He's had type 1 diabetes for 4 years, and as well as happily volunteering to be one of my diabetic portraits, he didn't bat an eyelid when I asked him to do a little performance on a high wall above  Regents Canal near his Kings Cross rehearsal studio. Known for being provocative and deep as well as mellow and accessible, Ty is highly respected in British hip-hop and known as the rap don. Ty says....

Before I was diagnosed I was having a real slump .... highly uninterested, tired lazy and generallly a sore bear to deal with, then when it all came on top  and it emerged that I was diabetic, I thought my life  had ended. That's because I live to perform, I live to express myself, and through performance I have achieved a relative amount of respect for being ''energetic"

I thought it had all come to an end!! But it hasn't, I'm  a type one diabetic. All I needed to do was readjust and learn to do a few things that seem like ordinary things now... .. take my injections ,read my blood sugars and watch what I eat!!! My world had not ended  it just changed a little!!! I still have a ball on stage and will continue to do so!!

More about Ty here: http://www.tymusic.co.uk/

The Treetop Pluckers

This is diabetic and musical father and son, Tom and Jed strumming together up a tree in the South Downs. Jed is a student at Brighton Institute of Modern Music. He says,

It's great having a dad with diabetes; he's given me some brilliant tips and let me into some type-1 trade secrets. During a gig, even with all that adrenaline, I'm always on top of my blood sugars.

Tom is the author of the number-one bestseller, 211 Things A Bright Boy Can Do and his next volume, A Gentleman's Bedside Book is out in the autumn. He says:

I feel so privileged to have been given this fascinating condition. After four decades, and some 47,000 injections, I wouldn't change a thing. Diabetes is as much a part of me as my moustache or my love of Islay malt whiskies. What's more, Jed understands his condition so well now that I never have to worry about him. It's been great.

The Circus Strong Man

This is Andy Cross, diabetic prison officer and body builder. We stumbled upon a circus while location scouting in Milton Keynes for his shot, the ideal backdrop for his strong man pose. Andy is super-active and a real life tough guy, this is what he says about himself.....

" I've had type 1 Diabetes for 24 years and to be honest its not stopped me from doing anything. I have been a Prison Officer for the last 7 years, as for my spare time I have been in the British squad for Karate and came 2nd in the british championships for Tang Soo Do. I am now into road cycling and last year completed a ride from HMP Dartmoor to HMP Woodhill where I work as a prison officer, raising money for Diabetes UK covering 205 miles in 12 hrs 10 mins. I also have been combining the cycling with bodybuilding, strange mix I know !!!! I train with weights 4 times a week and cycle at least 4 times a week too. Of course with any physical activity I used to suffer with hypo's during this but since being on the pump this has been reduced greatly."

Kicking Diabetes Into Touch

This is 13 year-old Aubi Bone. Oh and it's his dad, Andrew's cheesy headline. Likeable and enthusiastic, this is what Aubi says about himself....

"I was 10 years old when I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  It was a huge shock, although it does run in my father's side of the family. We've always eaten healthily, though, so my diet didn't have to change. I have always been very sporty and play rugby, football, tennis, basket-ball  and in the summer, athletics and swimming.  I also walk and cycle. All these are possible as long as I regulary test my blood-sugar - even in the middle of matches - and make sure that I have a bottle of lucozade to hand. I adjust my insulin according to the amount of exercise I am about to do and the carbohydrate I am about to eat. All the sport, and especially rugby, does make me more prone to "hypos", particularly at night, but they are easily fixed and I'd rather be a little low that high. I will not allow diabetes to stop me and, in any case, exercise is good, whoever you are.  Just be aware, tell everyone (all my friends know about my condition and what to do in an emergency) and never let it stop you!"