Circle D provides fun, socials and support with those aged 18-30 in the UK with Type 1 diabetes. Lucy and Catherine from The Pendsey Trust visited Circle D Kent group. Mike Pollard, a Circle D member who was there, provides his reflection on the visit:
Mike Pollard: At the age of 22, I had recently moved away from home, got my dream job after university and I thought life was set. What else could get in my way? I was living the dream, until one day, Monday July 7th 2008 to be precise, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. What was this? Why me? What had I done wrong? So many questions, no easy answers. Luckily for me, I was well looked after by a specialist nurse at the local doctors surgery in Essex. Over the next months I went on a crazy roller coaster of emotions, learning curves and numerous mixed messages. What to do, what not to do. In fact this carried on for about 3 years, no real direction and barely any contact with anyone else my age with diabetes. I had kind of got on top of managing my diabetes, mostly by trial and error but I was managing. Until one day, I had recently moved to kent and had transferred to Darent Valley Diabetes Centre based at the hospital. I was sat in the waiting room and a little apprehensive of how this new team would treat me when I started browsing the notice board, something caught my eye, it was a poster, 18-30’s with type 1, this sounded interesting! During my chat with the nurse I told her I spotted a poster on the board and she told me about a girl named Shelley. She was the one who runs the group and I was told to go along and check it out.
Slightly nervous, I built up the courage to pop along to one of the Rant Rooms and this was the first time I had met people my age with T1. I was not alone and it sounds bad, but I realised there were people who were struggling more than I was. It immediately made me feel better about myself and 3 years on I am a regular rant roomer and have made some amazing friends through this group. We have had some great times and I always know, if I ever have any issues or problems, they are just a message away from being there for me or if I ever get late with my repeat prescriptions then someone is there to lend me some supplies. Small things to some people but amazing support for others.
Over my time attending Circle D I have witnessed numerous guests come and go, some good, some bad, but one that really struck a chord with me was the visit of Lucy and Catherine from The Pendsey Trust. It made me want to help others more! Their stories of how people cope with Type 1 in developing countries made me realise just how lucky we are here in England. The biggest shock was that Lucy who drives this charity, isn’t even type 1 herself. She just wants to help others who are. Such a selfless act has inspired me, a fellow type 1 to want to do more for others.
The story of Dr Pendsey in India, who the charity was named after, is amazing and one day I would love to meet him to thank him on behalf of every type 1 he has helped.
The Pendsey Trust runs charity fundraisers, and the next one is a Hog Roast evening, in London. And I for one will be there supporting and helping to raise further funds for this great cause. Thanks Lucy and Catherine for opening my eyes.
Thanks very much to Mike Pollard, and we look forward to working together with Circle D in the future! You can find out more on the website: http://www.circledrocks.co.uk, follow them on Twitter, and like them on Facebook.