The Prime Minister has spoken about how she has not let her type 1 diabetes hold her back.

“I was not going to let diabetes stop me from getting on with my life, and getting on with my job”, she said.

Theresa May, who will be replaced as PM when the new Tory leader is announced, made the comments at a special reception held at 10 Downing Street on Monday, June 24, to say thank you to the NHS for helping people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

A selection of prominent diabetes consultants, nurses, pharmacists and researchers, as well as charity representatives, were invited to the event hosted by the PM. Adults and children with diabetes also attended.

Theresa May was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2012 after undergoing sudden unexplained weight loss. She has since picked up a FreeStyle Libre to help her manage the condition.

At the reception, she shared her experiences of living with the type 1 diabetes and told younger people with the condition not to let it “get in the way” of achieving their ambitions.

Theresa May told the reception: “I will never forget the shock I felt when I was told I was diabetic. I imagine it must be the same for many people. It was not something I ever expected. And to be honest, I didn’t know you could get type 1 diabetes at my age. But I will be forever grateful to all those who taught me how to manage my condition – and reduce the impact it has on my life.

“The one thing I told myself when I found out – was that I was not going to let diabetes stop me from getting on with my life, and getting on with my job. But it is only thanks to the advice and support I received that I have been able to keep that promise to myself – the help of my GP, the consultants – but also most memorably the clinical nurse specialists from my local hospital.”

The Prime Minister also thanked the youth volunteers and fundraisers who support diabetes charities and also a number of children with diabetes who had shone in sport as well as campaigning.

At the event she chatted to attendees including Diabetes Specialist Nurse Chandrawati McCulloch, who works at the Royal Berkshire Hospital’s Diabetes and Endocrine Centre, as well Chief Executive of JDRF in the UK Karen Addington.

The government has taken steps to improve the lives of people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes and pledged that continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), as used by the Prime Minister, will be available on the NHS to all pregnant women with type 1 diabetes by 2020. Funding for the NHS Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) has also recently been doubled.

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