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It’s small but it is changing lives
A LIFELONG diabetic who campaigned for a rare treatment to be funded for sufferers in the borough has spoken out about her condition.
Mum-of-two Lyn Burgess was diagnosed with the illness at the age of 14 months and was bullied throughout her childhood when the condition was less common.
She said: “Kids would make fun of me. I used to go into the toilets and changing rooms of cloak rooms to have biscuits when I was in my teens.
“People would offer me sweets because I couldn’t have them and say I was a freak.
“They would make fun of my arms because they were so thin from all of the injections I had to have.”
Lyn, of Hawthorn Avenue, Great Sankey, jumped at the chance of trialling a new form of medication that would stop her from having to inject insulin up to eight times a day to control her Type 1 diabetes.
In 2002 Lyn began a two-year trial of the diabetes pump at Warrington Hospital.
The device is a small unit which includes a reservoir of insulin that is injected into the body via a needle inserted under the skin.
The pump is programmed to send the drug to the body automatically, allowing the user to vary the amount as required, preventing the sufferer from having to inject.
She said: “I didn’t have to be thinking about my diabetes all of the time. I could monitor my sugar levels.
“I did the trial because I wanted to help myself as well as other people.”
At the end of the test period Lyn was told she would have to revert back to the injections that she had used for her life.
Dreading the thought of losing the flexibility of the pump she approached the primary care trust to fund the device for people in the borough.
Now retired, Lyn, who has recovered after suffering a brain haemorrhage in Turkey in 2005, encouraged people to face up to the illness in order to ensure they have the healthiest lifestyle.
She blamed poor diet and pressure for the reported increase this week of Type 2 diabetes in the past 10 years.
She said talking to other people with diabetes has given her the chance to see that others have gone through the same things as her.
And when the pain of the illness gets too much, she says she is happy to try alternative therapies.
She added: “I believe there is a place for traditional medicine but I think traditional and alternative medicine can run parallel.”