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Hello! My name is Sarah Gatward and I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in March 1972, a few months after my seventh birthday.

Although this was fifty years after the huge medical breakthrough in January 1922, when the first person received a life-saving injection of insulin, the treatments available remained very unsophisticated and a long way from replicating the workings of a pancreas in a person without type 1.

I have seen huge changes in treatment in the years since I have been diagnosed. I am very fortunate to have parents who, throughout my childhood, continued to question, challenge and look for better ways of managing the condition. They were not afraid to keep questioning when accepted treatments did not work for me. This in turn led to their encouragement to participate in research projects as opportunities became available. The combination of all these experiences and the care, knowledge, but also willingness of many health care professionals to acknowledge the issues that are still not understood, has helped support me in my ongoing life with this condition over so many years.

At times it has been a very lonely and frustrating journey, and difficult to manage such a complex condition through the demands of daily life. It was at a JDRF discovery day in May 2014 that my eyes were opened. From talking to others, I learnt about the online diabetes community and have benefitted hugely over recent years from the camaraderie and support that this offers.

I hope to share my thoughts and experiences through this website, and that this in turn will help others living with this condition.