Two leading diabetes consultants have launched a comic which is aimed to “engage and inform” people with type 1 diabetes.
Type 1: Origins is based on the hit marvel series Wolverine: Origins and tells the story about Gary, who is newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
In the comic book, the young man draws on his ‘special powers’ of shock, surprise, acceptance and understanding of how he will manage his condition.
Dr Partha Kar, of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, and Dr Mayank Patel, of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, worked with a group of people with the condition to create the concept, along with the publishing company Revolve Comics.
Kar, who is based at the Queen Alexandra Hospital and is also associate national clinical director for diabetes for NHS England, said: “The idea is that this comic book puts some of the challenges of living with type 1 diabetes out into the public domain in a way that has not been done before.”
“Different people respond to the diagnosis in different ways – some like to talk it through, with others preferring to read books and leaflets.”
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that is often confused in the media with type 2 diabetes, a metabolic disorder, and Patel explained that it is hoped the comic book will serve to distinguish between the two types.
Patel, who is based at Southampton General Hospital, said: “The two types of diabetes are often reported in the media as the samen, despite there being several key differences between both types.
“As a group, people with type 1 diabetes can therefore feel excluded and deal with ignorance about their disease on a regular basis, which can be frustrating, if not exhausting.
“The hope is that this comic book provides another means of spreading the type 1 diabetes message through art and that the story will inform and educate anyone who reads it.”
Danny McLaughli, founder of Revolve Comics, based in Derry, Northern Ireland, said: “The comic is designed to engage and inform, in a more hopeful and warming way, to the lifestyle changes of living with type 1 diabetes, specifically for the teenage age group.
“The story follows a young man as he journeys through what would be a typical situation for any young person who would be diagnosed with type 1 from symptoms, to diagnosis, to living with it – but it’s done with a bit of fun.
“Gary, the young boy, faces learning about ketones which can make your blood acidic – so obviously he would see himself like the X-Men mutant superheroes and how he would differ from everyone else – but, by the end, he finds he is not alone.”

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