Meet Gary: Living with Type 1 Diabetes, Navigating a Colourful Future

I was a typical teenager, enjoying a solid apprenticeship and the normalcy of life. However, one morning I woke up feeling incredibly sluggish and out of sorts.




Close friends noticed I had lost weight earlier that week, though I brushed it off, considering myself a naturally slender teen.


At the bus stop, a friend mistook my fatigue for a hangover, suggesting I head home and rest. I explained I hadn’t been out drinking the night before and decided to book an appointment with my GP.


Upon seeing my GP, she immediately noticed the change in me and began asking the typical questions associated with Type 1 Diabetes: frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, increased fatigue, and excessive thirst. My affirmative responses prompted her to advise me to go to the A&E immediately.


Once at the hospital, they conducted their routine checks and then informed me that my blood sugar levels were dangerously high, and my ketone levels were elevated. It was then I learned that I had Type 1 Diabetes.


No one in my family had Type 1 Diabetes, and we maintained a generally healthy lifestyle. At 17, while my friends were out enjoying themselves, I was navigating a new diet regimen and trying to abstain from alcohol.


Despite the challenges, I did my best to balance my condition with my social life, a balancing act that continues to this day.


I completed my apprenticeship and pursued further education in interior design. Today, I am the proud owner of Emerald Green Decor, a successful interior design and decorating business.


Now, at 42, I have three wonderful children, one of whom, my youngest son James, also has Type 1 Diabetes. He manages it remarkably well for his age, living life to the fullest just like any other 9-year-old.


My journey has had its struggles, but it’s also shown me that we can overcome anything we set our minds to. Type 1 Diabetes doesn’t define us or hold us back. With determination and a positive mindset, anything is achievable.


So, to anyone facing similar challenges, remember don’t let Type 1 Diabetes hinder your dreams or hold you back. Embrace your goals, push past negativity, and remember – nothing is impossible. 🎨