Today I took part in the Diabetes UK Cymru ‘Share Your Story’ event held at The Oriel in The Senedd at The National Assembly for Wales. This event took place during Diabetes Week 2014.
I had butterflies in my tummy on the way there. Questions whirling around my head. What will they ask me? Will they talk to me? Will my Assembly Member turn up? I’d written asking him to attend. Will I feel confident to talk? Can I do this? Yes .. I Can.
I had to go through a security check on arrival and pointed out that I was wearing an insulin pump so instead of going through the body scanner they opened the gate and did a manual check. I was met with a friendly relaxed atmosphere once I entered and immediately felt welcome. Everyone looked normal! Of course they did we are all normal people after all!
There were people with Type1 Diabetes and Type2 Diabetes. Diabetes UK representatives, family and friends of people with Diabetes too. Then the Assembly members came in. Within seconds of arriving I was introducing myself and being introduced to others. My constituency Assembly Member asked to speak to me… To me! He had received my letter. We spoke briefly but I explained how access to insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring sensors concerns me and that I would like to see them ‘freely’ available without delays to all diabetic patients that want and need them. He agreed.
I spoke of how there is a great need to educate people on Diabetes and the difference between Type1 and Type2. I also promoted the Diabetes Online Community and #ourD as often as I could explaining that for over 30years of Diabetes I had felt alone with my Diabetes until I found that actually there were and are others out there online via Twitter and Facebook. The more people talk about it the greater promotion and advertising of it will be gained.
It was a lovely afternoon and I’ve made new contacts, found details of things happening in the Diabetes world and feel like I’m involved. I want to be involved. I want to make a difference. For me personally this is the start.