A university student with type 1 diabetes has described being personally invited to 10 Downing Street by the Prime Minister as a “surreal experience”.
Lydia Parkhurst, 19, met Theresa May – who also has type 1 diabetes – at JDRF’s 30 years of progress event last year.
It was there that both women discussed how they both managed their condition and Mrs May suggested Lydia and her family should visit the famous home where she now lives.
Lydia, who is from Doncaster and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged 12, said: “Arriving at Downing Street with my JDRF banner and standing outside the front door where Theresa May resides was such a surreal experience.
“When you get diagnosed with type 1 diabetes you’re often told that the condition doesn’t stop you doing anything (apart from being in the army or being an astronaut) but sometimes it’s hard to actually believe this, especially when the person is normally a healthcare professional who usually doesn’t live with diabetes.
“However, standing there I felt a sense of pride. Whether you support the Conservative Party, the Labour Party or any other, Theresa May shows us that type 1 diabetes has not held her back.”
Lydia said she arrived on the doorstep proudly wearing the FreeStyle Libre on her arm and insulin pump on her back and admitted she felt that Ms May was a “positive role model” as she has proven that diabetes has not prevented her from ruling the country.
The Parkhurst family was given a full tour of the property, which included sitting in a chair which once belonged to Winston Churchill and seeing the famous staircase that actor Hugh Grant danced down during a scene from Love Actually.
Lydia said: “Theresa May lives with type 1 diabetes and studied geography at university. Two similarities with me – perhaps I could be the next Prime Minister!”

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