8 June 2021

Recently, two of our pupils have approached us wanting to raise awareness of a medical condition that affects their every day lives.

This week with met with Year 10 pupil, Darcy, to talk about diabetes.

Darcy, produced a PowerPoint presentation to raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes and revealed she has to inject herself five times a day – around 16,000 injections in her lifetime so far.  She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at a young age as she started with the symptoms – tired and no energy, drinking a lot of water, needing the toilet more, weight loss and blurred vision. 

She wanted to let fellow pupils know the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and she was supported by Head of Learning for Life, Mrs Hopes, who also knows all about living with the disease as her daughter Emily was diagnosed when she was six. 

Darcy said: “I was diagnosed at four-years-old and I do not remember eating anything without having an injection first! It’s not so easy for me just to nip into McDonald’s or anywhere like that, I have to know the carbohydrates in everything, to make sure I give myself the correct dose of insulin. 

“I want people to know that it can affect anyone at any age, it’s not a lifestyle choice, it’s not because of a bad diet. It’s something that just happens and, once you are diagnosed, it’s with you for life, there is no cure. There is no time off from it and it’s something I have to live with every day. 

“I inject myself five times a day in my legs to keep my blood sugars at a safe level and have had around 16,000 injections altogether already. It’s important to recognise the symptoms early and manage them the best you can.” 

Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease which is caused when the pancreas stops producing insulin. This means that glucose builds up in the bloodstream and this can be dangerous if left undiagnosed.  Six pupils at Priory have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. 

Mrs Hopes said: “My daughter Emily was diagnosed at the age of six as she was tired for no reason, drinking a lot of fluid and we do have a history of Type 1 diabetes in our family so we did know what to look out for. It has a big impact as you have to learn to live with it for life, there is no cure. 

“As part of our Learning for Life lessons in school, there is a culture strand and it’s about respecting each other and understanding different medical conditions and things which affect our lives. Darcy wanted to talk about living with Type 1 diabetes, how it’s perceived and to try and help people understand it. 

“She wanted to make people aware of the symptoms and how having it affects her life. If it’s not diagnosed early, it can be life-threatening, and so it’s important for people to be aware.” 

Tags: Learning for Life