Media Release: BBC ALBA examines the effect of type 1 diabetes to mark National Diabetes Week

Diabetes -Tinneas an t-Siucair - Douglas Cairns

WITH the number of people in Scotland diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes rising steadily over a number of years, it is a condition that touches the lives of more and more families across the country.

Now, to coincide with National Diabetes Week – running from Sunday 14 to Saturday 20 June – BBC ALBA takes a look at what life is like for those living with the illness.

Explains a spokesperson: “Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar (glucose) level to become too high, with Type 1 diabetes the condition where the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin at all.

“It’s mostly younger people who are diagnosed with the illness, usually while they’re children. There are also particular dangers for those who become pregnant if they have the illness, and worryingly an increasing number of babies are now being diagnosed.

“However, with careful management, a full and active life can be lived. We follow three such cases during the programme.”

Douglas Cairns was an RAF Pilot, who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 25. This put an abrupt stop to his career and temporarily impacted on his flying days. However, he retrained to fly in the USA, and went on to set several world flying records, as well as successfully campaigning for insulin treated diabetics to legally fly in the UK again.

Douglas regularly flies to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, an organisation with the sole aim of finding a cure for Type 1.

Amanda Crowe was diagnosed at the age 11. She was an active youngster but after a life-threatening episode where her life was saved in hospital by an insulin injection, she had to re-adjust her whole lifestyle. However, Amanda is a passionate advocate for diabetes not restricting your life if managed properly. She has competed at national level in several sports, and worked for some years in the USA as a football coach. She now works full time raising funds and awareness for Diabetes UK.

Finally, we meet Derek and Sarah Maclean and their son, Seumas. Type 1 Diabetes appears to be on the rise in Scotland among infants. Derek and Sarah got the news that Seumas had Type 1 when he was diagnosed at just 13 months-old.

Derek works offshore and they now have to carefully manage little Seumas’ condition, a challenge when he is so young. The family play an active role in Diabetes Highland, trying to raise funds in the battle against Type 1.

Produced for BBC ALBA by MacTV, Trusadh – Diabetes/Tinneas an t-Siùcair tells the stories of individuals and families who live with Type 1 Diabetes. It will be shown on the channel on Monday 15 June at 9.00 until 10.00pm.

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