TAD - Talking About Diabetes event - London

TAD - Talking About Diabetes event - London

Actor James Norton and Diabetes expert and TAD founder Dr Partha Kar

Actor James Norton and Diabetes expert and TAD founder Dr Partha Kar

When I found out I had Type 1 diabetes four years ago I  felt isolated and confused.

I desperately wanted to meet a fellow Type 1 and pick their brains over a coffee.

Those first few months were hard as I navigated my way through appointments, multiple daily injections and counting carbs. I was googling far too much & scaring myself about what the future may bring.

Four years on and Type 1 is very much a part of my life but I know it and live with it that little bit better. I’m armed with some excellent kit - a Medtronic 640g insulin pump and a Freestyle Libre. I’ve shared my diagnosis story with NICE in the hope of improving care, I work with Diabetes UK and recently attended and photographed the TAD (Talking About Diabetes) event in London. Every day is a tricky balance with Type 1 but I’ve taken ownership of it.

It’s the first time I’ve been to TAD. I’ll sum it up as an incredibly inspirational and bonding full-day event. It made me feel special to be part of such a supportive community of Type 1s.

Amongst the speakers were the actor James Norton. Diagnosed at 22, James said he never felt Type 1 would be a stumbling block in his career. He spoke of tackling hypos on stage and how he sews an extra pocket into his costumes to hold hypo snacks.

Another speaker was Boxer Muhammad Ali who made boxing history on 9th May 2018 after becoming the UK's first Type 1 diabetic to be granted a professional licence by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBOfC). Such a warm, funny guy, full of positivity.

Amy Stevens (pictured below) was diagnosed aged 2. She spoke about her experiences growing up with Type 1 diabetes, (recovering from) eating disorders and making peace with the condition. It was lovely to meet Amy and her mum backstage - Amy’s mum is also Type 1, diagnosed 5 years after her daughter.


Journalist Lauren Turner shared her story of being diagnosed and living with her condition. She proudly sported her Freestyle Libre with her beautiful Oscars dress on the red carpet of the ceremony.

Lauren Turner

Lauren Turner

Actress Jade Byrne presented her funny and moving play ‘Pricks’ clearing up a lot of the misunderstandings and misconceptions about Type 1. She’s just begun a UK tour of the play and you can find out more here.

Comedian/Actress Jade Byrne on stage at TAD

Comedian/Actress Jade Byrne on stage at TAD

Cyclist Sam Brand from the Isle of Man took to the stage to talk about how he manages his Type 1 alongside his cycling career riding in the UCI Professional Continental team Team Novo Nordisk. He was diagnosed aged 10 and has not let it stop him from advancing his sporting career.

It’s no wonder TAD sold out in seconds. Events like this make such a difference to the Type 1 community. Friendships are made, reunions take place, advice is exchanged - you come away with a spring in your step knowing that so much is possible.

In a room full of hundreds of people who ‘get it’ it’s impossible to feel isolated with Type 1. As James Norton proudly told the audience of TAD, ‘we are stronger together.’ It certainly feels that way.

James Norton chatting to guests

James Norton chatting to guests

James Norton and Dr Partha Kar

James Norton and Dr Partha Kar

All images © Katie Collins

For more information on the annual event, head to http://talkingaboutdiabetes.co.uk

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