Below is a snippet from the article which appeared in the Daily Telepraph last September. There are many thoughts and phrases so familiar to families living with Type1. Keep up the good work, Justin.
Nowadays a person in the western world who develops Type 1 Diabetes can expect, with luck and frequent blood-sugar checks and insulin injections with every meal, to live much longer. But it can be a pretty miserable life, particularly if you are undisciplined or poor. Family days out get very difficult when insulin needs to be transported and kept cold, when fruit juice is forbidden (too many carbohydrates too quickly absorbed) and when parents are exhausted and worried.
Having said that, I am deeply, painfully aware that our travails are minor compared with those that some parents suffer. Sam is still Sam. He is happy and affectionate and full of vigour and ambition. He is a classic case of the value of modernity. When people moan about our culture, the priorities and the fixations of the modern Western world, I think of Sam, who is cared for by NHS doctors, using insulin made by a US company. From the very moment he was diagnosed and rushed to hospital, he has benefited from the care and intellectual effort and wealth and pro-life priorities of the modern world. To suggest otherwise, as Jeremiahs sometimes do, is to be disrespectful to the many people who devote their lives to caring for those with chronic illnesses, and, frankly, to the UK taxpayers who bankroll the whole
enterprise with good grace.
One good thing has come out of Sam's illness. It is pretty small but here it is anyway: I think I am better at my job. Too many reporters are insulated from the distress of the world. As a young man I travelled to wars and famines and felt sympathy but never attachment. To those folks rushing off for the dodgy cell therapy, I now feel a genuine closeness. I also feel angry when I see Sam's disease misreported – confused, typically, with the more common Type 2 Diabetes that you generally get from over-eating. Too many medical and scientific stories are lazily reported: now I know the distress this can cause.
As for Sam, he is fine. He wastes no time at all fretting about cures and miracles. That's for Mum and Dad. We'll do it for him. And if one day I turn on my computer at 4 in the morning and someone in Timbuktu has found a cure, I shall wait until 9am, then I'll be on my way before the pips have stopped sounding..."