A man who has lived with type 1 diabetes for 70 years has been awarded a medal for his “courage and perseverance”.
Reverend Richard Chapple was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was six years old. Now aged 76, Revd Chapple has received the John MacLeod medal from charity Diabetes UK which acknowledges his success in managing the condition for 70 years.
Revd Chapple, based in Yeovil, told Somerset Live that managing type 1 diabetes as a youngster was considerably more exasperating than it is now.
“I was diagnosed with it when I was six and in those days it was pretty laborious,” he said. “Every day I’d have to give my mother a urine sample and she’d boil it in a pan with something called Benedict solution.
“You’d then have to compare the colour it went with a chart to determine if your blood sugar level was too high or too low.”
Depending on the result Revd Chapple would either be fed sugar cubes to bring his sugar level up or have to undertake strenuous activity to bring it down.
On receiving his award from Diabetes UK, the father of two dedicated it to all the people who have supported him over the years.
“I feel a bit embarrassed really – it should be going to all the people who have supported me over the years – doctors and family, my parents, my wife.
“I’ve been lucky to have a good support network who know me and know the danger signs.”
Over the years Revd Chapple has witnessed many advancements in the treatment of diabetes and says that being able to test blood sugar levels regularly and easily has made life a lot easier.
His advice to others living with type 1 diabetes is to look after your diet properly and stock up on hypo treatments if you know you’re going to have a busy day.

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