Wednesday, 27 April 2016

JDRF #Type1catalyst at Parliament

Two years ago I attended Parliament with JDRF for the #countmein campaign. During this event we lobbied with MP's raising awareness and spreading our stories about living with Type 1 Diabetes. At Type 1 Parliament we were trying to back government funding towards Type 1 and I was privileged enough to have a private interview with Ed Miliband who was very nice and really interested in what I had to say about Type 1. I even found out that Ed's uncle helped design the first insulin pump! 

On Monday I attended Parliament with JDRF again, but this time the event was called #Type1catalyst and was different to the event two years prior. Joined by health care professionals, MP's and their Type 1 constituents, and of course the lovely team from JDRF, Type 1 Catalyst was in full flow. Jamie Reed MP, lead the event giving a fantastic speak and we were also joined by Derek Rapp, who is the CEO of JDRF US and it was very nice to meet him along with Jonathan Valabhji, National Clinical Director for Obesity and Diabetes at NHS England who attended the event. Theresa May, Home Secretary popped in to help us celebrate the event and it was lovely to meet Chris Askew, Chief executive of Diabetes UK. It was  fantastic to able to meet some of the Type 1 community from Twitter, as well as many JDRF staff who Id been in contact with over twitter and emails such as Callum, Chris, Dean and George, finally having a conversation face to face! 

The Type 1 Catalyst event allowed us as people that lived with Type 1 and our MPs to hear about, and help us celebrate the successes of research towards potential cures and treatments for Type 1. The CEO of JDRF, Karen Addington said that these ideas are no longer ideas, and seeing how far even in the past two years research is progressing at Type 1 Catalyst it shows extremely exciting prospects for the future! One of the researchers who attended the event in Parliament who I was able to speak with was Mark Peakman, who is a Professor of Clinical Immunology at Kings College. Mark is working constantly behind the scenes figuring out how to stop the body attacking the beta cells which produce insulin and has found that you are less at risk of complications if your body still produces C - Peptide. 

Overall the event was fantastic being able to see the excitement and support behind Type 1 Diabetes! As a Catalyst speeds up processes it is brilliant to see the fast paced changes and improvements within the world of Type 1 Diabetes! As Jamie Reed stated 'We have to keep rattling the bars!' Change is happening but we have to keep pushing for change. We need to keep being the catalyst, but with all the fantastic support from the government and JDRF - Im positive that Type 1 Diabetes will will become Type 0. 

Lots of love The Backpacker and the Pod xxx

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