An 88-year-old man has become the first person in the UK to be awarded the H.G. Wells medal for living with diabetes for 80 years.
Clifford Whittaker, from Colchester, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of eight. Mr. Whittaker only stopped driving two years ago, and he worked into his 60s. “My diabetes has never stopped me doing anything and people have always been very kind,” he said.
The medal Mr. Whittaker received is named after novelist H.G. Wells, who co-founded the Diabetic Association in 1934, now known as Diabetes UK.
Wells, along with co-founder Dr. Robert Lawrence, had diabetes, and the medal commemorates 80 years of living with the condition. Diabetes UK also awards people medals for living with diabetes for 50, 60 and 70 years.
Mr. Whittaker was presented his medal at his home by Sharon Roberts, eastern regional manager for Diabetes UK. Roberts said: “It’s such a privilege to meet Clifford and to hear about his journey with diabetes. He is an inspiratio, and has really shown that through managing your diabetes well you can live a long and healthy life.”
Mr. Whittaker attributed his ability to live with the condition for so long to the support of his wife Doree, to whom he was married for 60 years.
“Doreen passed away six years ago. But she used to look after me very well and make sure I was eating properly and generally looking after myself,” he said.
Picture: BBC News