A BRIDGWATER woman has won a prestigious award after living with diabetes for 50 years.

Christine White, 57, who lives on the Polden Meadows estate, has been given the Alan Nabarro Medal from Diabetes UK for people who live with condition for half a century.

Christine was first diagnosed with the condition on January 30, 1966 and said she has been through some tough times but is pleased to see the improvements being made in technology to treat the condition for future generations.

“My mother was a nurse, and so fortunately she knew how to treat me when I was diagnosed at the age of six, but it was scary,” Mrs White said. 

“I remember being treated with glass syringes and blunt needles. 

“One episode in 1968 saw me very nearly die and the doctors called in my family to my bedside prepared to say their goodbyes but fortunately, the gods had other ideas for me.”

Christine, who was born in West Huntspill, managed to fight back against the disease and worked in the catering industry for many years and now works as a lunchtime supervisor at Bridgwater College Academy.

“I had a life changing experience two years ago when I did a Dafne course, which allowed me to understand better how to measure my carbohydrates in each meal and manage my diabetes,” she said.

“There were seven of us on the course, and they asked how long each person had lived with diabetes - some said three years, I think one other had 10 years, they were all very surprised when I said I had been living with the condition for 50 years.

“At the end of the course they said we would eat a piece of cake - I did not believe them. I was scared because I had always been so strict with my diet having had so many warnings when I was young about the possible consequences.

“But lo and behold I could - it felt like it opened up a whole new world for me.”

Christine said she initially thought her GP was joking when he said about the medal but she was delighted to get her award in the post.

Alan Nabarro waged a lifelong battle against discrimination against people with diabetes. In 1968 he was awarded the OBE for his work with young people in London.