"I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes over 20 years ago. During the 1990's community based support for Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) people with type 2 diabetes was virtually non existent for residents of London borough Hackney. The challenges linked with inner-city living, poor weight management, work/life issues, family history of diabetes etc., placed me at greater risk of and indeed eventually gave way to type 2 diabetes.
Very limited access to patient education fuelled the detrimental progression of the disease which culminated in diabetes complications. Over time, lifestyle changes and improved access to health information enabled me to achieve small but achievable goals that supported healthier behaviours.
At the beginning of 2012 while discussing my condition with my healthcare professional the recurring subject of tighter glucose controls surfaced again and finally led to my agreement to commence insulin therapy. I felt vulnerable, unsupported, but as reality dawned on me I found myself asking if there was any support available in Hackney. To my amazement the reply was a very awkward but empty “no”. I felt stunned until a still, small voice within me said “why don't you do something about it”?
Going forward, I developed an insatiable passion to use my time, professional skills, resources etc., to offer peer support to people living with or at great risk of type 2 diabetes. Our motto is, “let's learn more about diabetes, talk about diabetes and deal with it”!