A Leicester man who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was only 18 months old has received a national award for living with the illness for 50 years.
Tim Green, an administrator with Remploy, received the Alan Nabarro medal from Diabetes UK to mark the achievement.
Tim was a toddler when his parents were first told he had diabetes. “Mum noticed I wasn’t eating much, always seemed to be thirsty and was losing weight,” he said. “She took me to the doctor and that, for me, was the start of half-a-century living with diabetes.”
Throughout his childhood Tim combined regular insulin injections with abstinence from many of the things that youngsters enjoy such as sugary drinks, cakes and biscuits, to ensure his blood sugar levels remained stable.
“This was before diet colas and food labelling and it was vital to carefully calculate my carbohydrate intake using a guide book from the British Diabetic Association, the forerunner of Diabetes UK,” said Tim.
Tim worked as a laboratory technician at De Montfort University for 17 years, but in 1996 he was forced to give up the job he enjoyed when his health deteriorated.
“By then I was injecting myself nine times a day and it became increasingly difficult to do anything or go anywhere,” he recalls.
When he was eventually fit enough to return to work, after almost a decade of unemployment, he was referred to Remploy in Leicester for specialist employment support. “Remploy provided the best help possible by actually giving me a job!” said Tim who has been working for the company since 2005.
Today, thanks to advances in medical science and technology, Tim is successfully managing his diabetes and getting on with his life.
“Testing for blood sugar levels is much more sophisticated than it used to be and for me insulin injections are a thing of the past. I now have a pump - small enough to fit in my pocket – which delivers constant amounts of insulin via a catheter placed under the skin. I’ve been using it since 2006 and it has made such a positive difference to my quality of life.”
Kathryn Browne, Tim’s manager at Remploy said: “Tim’s condition doesn’t hold him back at work. His dedication and hard work make him an asset to the department.”
Congratulating Tim on his award, Pete Shorrick, Regional Manager for Diabetes UK in the Midlands, said: “Tim is an inspiration to others and shows it is possible to live a long and fulfilling life with diabetes.”
Added Tim: “I’m proud to have been given a medal, but more so for my mum, who helped me when I was growing up and my wife, whose support over the years has been invaluable.
“To be honest, I can’t remember a time when I haven’t had diabetes. There have been some tough times and some big challenges along the way, but I’m still here and that’s the most important thing.”
Picture caption: Tim Green with his Alan Nabarro medal
For further information and interview requests, please contact Remploy press office: 0300 456 8121
Notes to editors:
- The Alan Nabarro medal is awarded to people who have lived with diabetes for 50 years
- Alan Nabarro was diagnosed with diabetes in 1922 and given six months to live. He lived for another 55 years and campaigned tirelessly on behalf of people with diabetes
- In the last four years Remploy Employment Services has found more than 50,000 jobs in mainstream employment for people with a range of physical, sensory and mental disabilities and other disadvantages.
- Remploy is driven by the fundamental belief that every disabled person can, with appropriate support and specialist advice, secure sustainable employment
- Employment Services has an increasing focus on providing specialist disability employment services to people with mental health conditions or learning disabilities
- It continues to invest in developing innovative approaches and services for employers which are cost effective and business efficient including consultancy and vocational rehabilitation services
- Remploy ES partners with more than 2,500 of the country’s biggest employers including BT, ASDA, Royal Mail, Sainsbury’s, the NHS and Marks & Spencer
- It operates a national network of more than 60 town and city centre recruitment branches and offices providing specialist recruitment and development services to job seekers