Kelly – Sugarbuddy

Kelly, after cycling 200 miles to the Eiffel TowerHi. My Name is Kelly and I live in Southampton and am a Diabetes Specialist Nurse. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in October 2013.

I have worked with children and young adults in a variety of settings including working with disabled children in a short breaks unit and as a family support worker.

Being diagnosed was a scary experience and I felt lost and alone. The thought of meeting others with diabetes was something I definitely did not want to do. Why on earth would I want to meet with others and talk diabetes? Yet meeting others who are in a similar situation to me has been so refreshing. I could ask them questions I forgot to ask, or didn’t want to ask my health care team, outside of clinic hours.

When I was diagnosed there was very little support for me to access. I’m not sure what I wanted or needed when I entered the world of diabetes. I was given details of a young lady to contact and subsequently joined Twitter (I’m still not good with this!). I soon realised many people shared my experience and wanted more peer support. This made me determined to ensure more support is offered to those who are newly diagnosed with diabetes. After a variety of meetings, including eating copious amounts of ice cream, sugar buddies began to form.

Not only have I been given a kick to start live my life to the full, I have met some amazing people who I am proud to call my friends, all things I would not have experienced without diabetes.

I enjoy baking, yes I can still eat cake, trying to keep fit, and spending time with my friends

Diabetes: Type 1

Year of Birth: 1982

Year of Diagnosis: 2013