World Diabetes Day – The Faces of Type 1 Diabetes

Today is World Diabetes Day, and since my eldest son Fin has had Type 1 Diabetes for over 6 years it’s a day of mixed emotions for me. I feel sad that he has to cope with a lot being a Type 1, I feel proud because of how he copes with everything and I also feel hope. Hope that as each year passes, the chances of someone discovering a cure are that much more likely.

World Diabetes Day - Faces of Type 1 Diabetes

My post today is partly to raise awareness of Type 1 Diabetes, if you pop to my Symptoms of Type 1 post you can read about our diagnosis story, and learn the symptoms to look out for in your own children. Undiagnosed Type 1 Diabetes can result in death, so the signs are really important to know.

I also wanted to do this post to include a link to our Just Giving page, where Fin and his brother have started to try and raise money for JDRF to help research into finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes – a cause that could not be closer to my heart. Any donations are gratefully received and go to JDRF.

To be able to write a post on here about a cure for Type 1 Diabetes is something I dream about, we want to do our bit to try and make that happen, and improve the lives of so many people who live with Type 1.

I don’t want you to pity the children who live with Type 1 Diabetes though, or treat them any differently than you would someone without Type 1 Diabetes, but today of all days I would love for you to take a moment to think about how brave they are with everything that they cope with, and also how amazing it would be if they didn’t have to.

My last reason for doing this post, is to help address a few media misconceptions;

Type 1 Diabetes is not caused by eating too much sugar

People with Type 1 Diabetes can eat normal food

You do not get Type 1 Diabetes by being obese and living unhealthily – nor Type 2 always!

Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the cells in the body (pancreas) that make insulin and is NOT preventable

There is currently no cure for Type 1 Diabetes

In the media, people with any Type of Diabetes are pretty much always associated with obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle. With the word ‘diabetes’ usually accompanied with a photo of an overweight person.

Today I thought I’d let you see the truth about Type 1 Diabetes, and using the wonderful ‘T1D Looks Like Me‘ blue covers from the US JDRF’s current campaign, I am showing you just a small proportion of the children and teenagers in the UK who live with Type 1 Diabetes, with their parents and their own permission. You’ll notice a distinct lack of massively overweight people holding burgers in these images – that really is not the Type 1 truth.

Type 1 Diabetes is not something that you cause yourself, and all of the images below show (including my own son) some very brave individuals, who don’t let Type 1 Diabetes beat them or hold them back.

The images don’t show however the brave, hard-working, frequently sleep missing due to night time checking, parents of these amazing children and I want to dedicate my post today to all the other Type 1 parents out there.

Much love, a slightly emotional Stevie x


The Faces of Type 1Type 1 DiabetesFaces of Type 1 Diabetes

Faces of Type 1

Type 1 Diabetes Faces

Faces of Type 1 Diabetes

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  1. natalie allanson
    14 November 2015 / 12:53 am

    Stevie, its been an emotional night for alot of people. Last night marked my sons Diaversary, hes 2 years in. I spent my night working as a carer in a residential home. But my mind was never far from my home and my own little T1 superheroes night. Thank you for summing it up so elequently and the collage. We should do a calendar. Any chance you could email me a copy of the collages, i wanna show my son hes
    not alone. Send them to jdrf uk too.
    Thank you.

    • 14 November 2015 / 10:00 am

      Thanks Natalie, those words mean a lot coming from a fellow Type 1 parent xx If you right click on the photos you should be able to select ‘save as’ to download them, let me know if you can’t

      Stevie xx

  2. Erica
    14 November 2015 / 8:26 am

    Amazing, and very lump in my throat provoking, thank you including my girl. It helps her feel less isolated and different.

    • 14 November 2015 / 10:06 am

      My pleasure, thank you for letting me use her image x My son with Type 1 asked me if all of those children had Type 1 as he couldn’t quite believe it…told him it’s a tiny proportion but yes, and made me realise just how ‘different’ he’s been feeling as it actually made him smile x

  3. 14 November 2015 / 10:03 am

    Stevie, you are right. But to be honest, nobody asks to get any type of diabetes. It’s a shame that the media are so quick to associate those “lifestyle” factors with diabetes, which aren’t always true. These stigmas don’t do any favours for people living with ALL types of diabetes. Advances in diabetes have come in leaps and bounds over the years, and I’m sure that your son has a great future ahead of him.

    • 14 November 2015 / 10:32 am

      Thanks Frank, that’s why I said ‘nor all Type 2s’ :)

  4. Paula Reid
    14 November 2015 / 10:32 am

    My daughter was dx aged 6, she’s now 14. Thank you for including her in your collage. I’ve shared your blog and look forward to reading more. Thank you.

    • 14 November 2015 / 10:34 am

      My pleasure Paula, thank you for letting me use her photo xx

  5. nichola price
    14 November 2015 / 10:56 am

    My son was diagnosed 3.5 year ago or should i say mis diagnosed,he had all the classic signs which at the time i didnt even know,weight loss,drinking lots,peeing alot,even bed wetting which was so unusual,he didnt seem with it sometimes i took him to the emergancy docs when he started vomiting non stop and he was walking like he was drunk.the doc had a look at his throat and said he had a bad case of tonsalitus then he asked ashton had he just brushed his teeth coz breath smelled sweet,ashton said he has that morning (should have screamed out ketones) he gave us antibiotics.i told him i was worried about his weight loss he told me to take him to my own docs after the double bank holiday if i was still worried,wasnt happy but i was gonna wait till the wednesday (this was saturday).Ashton wanted to spend the night at his dads which i let him,i gets a call 4am from his dad saying nikki get to hospital ashton has collapsed an hes in is in nxt street to me sp me m bf rushed there and was taken to resus my lil boy (6) was laying on the bed his face was a greying colour his eyes rolled to back of his head and his eyes were black he was out of it.He was put i to a room and we wer told he was seriously ill then we were told it was type1 diabetes and he was hooked up to drips we were told he was very close to a diabetic coma bloods throught the roof.once hooked up to drips we could slowly see life and colour comming back to out lil boys the days afterwards after talking to the docs and nurses i was told the symtoms i has told the doc he should have done the simple blood test there and then and ashton would not have nearly died.the sweet smelling breath which we all now know was ketones poisionong his body,aston did not have a tonsalitus he had type1 diabetes x

    • 14 November 2015 / 11:04 am

      Thanks for sharing Nichola just had tears in my eyes reading that, it’s scary how many I have heard of who get misdiagnosed so it’s even more important that awareness is spread so that people can spot the signs easily themselves x

  6. 15 November 2015 / 12:26 pm

    Lovely post Mrs xx

    • 15 November 2015 / 3:00 pm

      Thank you, its one of those days where it hits you a bit isn’t it?!

      Stevie xx

  7. 19 November 2015 / 2:35 pm

    Only just seen this. Look at all those faces! Keep on sharing x

    • 19 November 2015 / 3:51 pm

      I know – hits you a bit seeing them doesn’t it? Especially some of the dinky brave ones.

      Stevie x

  8. Tracey Abrahams
    20 November 2015 / 8:01 am

    I had a friend at primary school who had type 1 diabetes and in recent years my neice was also diagnosed with it. Its such a shame people get it mixed up with type 2 and associate it with obesity and poor diet.
    I hope too that one day there will be a cure for your son, my neice and evwryone else who lives with it.

    • 20 November 2015 / 12:06 pm

      That would be a dream come true

      Stevie x

  9. 20 November 2015 / 8:02 am

    What a good awareness campaign. I hope it does much to break down some of the misconceptions that you talked about in this post. It’s a shame that diabetes diagnoses all get lumped together as the same illness, when very clearly Types 1 and 2 differ dramatically. Thank you for highlighting this. Fingers crossed that one day a cure will be found. #PicknMix

    • 20 November 2015 / 12:09 pm

      Thank you :) I also feel for the Type 2’s who don;t get it through bad diet etc, as they get badly branded as well.

      Stevie x

  10. 20 November 2015 / 8:36 am

    Such a great post Stevie. What Better way to spread your message than with those beautiful brave faces. #picknmix I will share on my social media x

    • 20 November 2015 / 12:14 pm

      Thanks Catie :) It had me all emotional reading it, and seeing that over 1300 people have read it so far makes me very proud

      Stevie xx

  11. 20 November 2015 / 9:37 am

    Great post & great to clear up the misconceptions. Misery Guts is Type 1 diabetic and I can only imagine what it must be like parenting onex #picknmix

    • 20 November 2015 / 12:16 pm

      Thank you, it’s not always easy but he’s brave and puts up with a lot without moaning so he makes me very proud

      Stevie x

  12. 20 November 2015 / 9:40 am

    Well done on the amazing work you do in raising awareness for type 1 diabetes, I did know that type 1 was not caused by anything and it was just an incurable disease but I think there are a few people who don’t.

    • 20 November 2015 / 12:17 pm

      Thanks lovely, even this week on Emmerdale a ‘diabetes’ story is being handled really badly and causing me to grind my teeth a bit – stopped watching it altogether now I’d like some teeth left ;)

      Stevie x

  13. 20 November 2015 / 10:26 am

    What a fab post for an amazing cause! Seeing so many little faces makes it seem so real and scary that it affects so many little ones x #picknmix

    • 20 November 2015 / 12:19 pm

      In a group I’m in for parents with Type 1 children on Facebook I’m constantly hearing about children below the age of 2 being diagnosed, and it’s just heartbreaking

      Stevie x

  14. 20 November 2015 / 12:29 pm

    This disease is so misunderstood. love the post. i had gestational diabetes in both my pregnancies and am at risk of getting it in later life. Just have to try and lead a healthy lifestyle otherwise x

  15. 20 November 2015 / 12:53 pm

    This is a really great post. I don’t know much about Diabetes so have learned a lot from reading your blog. I hope that one day they can find a cure, it’s so sad so many people and children have to suffer with this. #picknmix

    • 20 November 2015 / 4:47 pm

      It’s definitely at the top of my wish list, he makes me very proud though

      Stevie x

  16. Jodie Allen at Budget Beauty and Babies
    20 November 2015 / 4:28 pm

    it really doesn’t matter what “label” you put on a child – they’re still an individual and deserve to be treated as such. This touches a nerve with me because I was born with a deformity and struggled as a child. I didn’t want pitty or to be treated differently, i simply wanted to be the same as everyone else. Nothing more, nothing less.
    And I really really hope and pray that one day you will write that post on the cure that you spoke about. What could be better than that!

    • 20 November 2015 / 4:42 pm

      I definitely agree, I struggled a little with this post as I wanted to do it to raise awareness and to hopefully raise some money towards research for a cure, but at the same time I didn’t want it to be a pity them post. All the children in my collage are incredibly brave individuals, and I’m so pleased I have this platform to show that off to others and give them a bit of recognition for what they cope with every day :)

      Stevie x

  17. Sara @ Handy Herbs
    20 November 2015 / 6:32 pm

    I really hope that one day there will be a cure for diabetics. They have such a lot to deal with including people’s ignorance. It is such a misunderstood disease and it is great that you are trying to make more people aware. (My dad is diabetic but I am lucky enough to have 4 children without it) Good luck with all you are doing :) x

  18. 20 November 2015 / 9:53 pm

    Lovely post about raising awareness, what a great collage too! Our little ones have so much to deal with at times! #picknmix

    • 20 November 2015 / 10:59 pm

      Thank you x They definitely do, I hope the eye drops get easier and she doesn’t need them for long by the way

      Stevie x

  19. 21 November 2015 / 1:16 pm

    Spot on! When I was diagnosed T1 at 13 I rebelled and pretty much ignored it for the rest of my teens. It’s only since becoming a parent that I realise how much worry I must have caused my mum & dad. Great post.

    • 21 November 2015 / 2:53 pm

      Thank you. Sad though I feel that my son doesn’t really remember not being type 1 having been diagnosed at age 5, I think in some ways it helped him to accept it more, but I have to admit I’m not looking forward to the teen years!


  20. 22 November 2015 / 9:16 am

    This is a great, informative post. I’m sorry that Type 1 is often associated with obsesity these days, hopefully this campaign will help dispel those myths for anyone misinformed. Best of luck for your fundraising. Thanks for sharing. #picknmix

    • 22 November 2015 / 6:47 pm

      Thank you, sadly it is very misunderstood!

      Stevie x

  21. 22 November 2015 / 3:54 pm

    Look at all those happy children, type 1 diabetes clearly looks like any normal child. I really hope they find a cure for it one day soon. Hugs to you and Finn :) x #picnmix

    • 22 November 2015 / 6:57 pm

      Thanks lovely, if it was as simple as giving him my pancreas I would. We cope though and he’s a very happy mini man – when he’s not thinking he’s a teenager already ;)

      Stevie xx

  22. 25 November 2015 / 8:42 am

    A great informative post Stevie – well done for raising awareness on the misconceptions. My MIL has type 2 diabetes so I do know the differences. Good luck with the fundraising! #PicknMix

    • 25 November 2015 / 9:51 am

      Thanks lovely, I hate the stigma for either type of diabetes as although Type 2 is sometimes caused by an unhealthy lifestyle there are so many other factors that can cause it as well including genetics!

      Stevie x

  23. 26 November 2015 / 10:46 pm

    Brilliant post hun, I love all that you do to raise awareness. I have a little girl in my class with type1 so I have learnt a lot in the last few months. xx

    • 26 November 2015 / 10:55 pm

      Thanks lovely x Aw I’m glad she has you for a teacher then, as I know you’ll look after her. One tip if you don’t use it already, if she’s worried about speaking up in assembly or a bsy class when she feels low, you can get her to do a thumbs up for feeling high, thumb to the side for feeling ‘middle’ as Fin calls it and a thumbs down for feeling low (hypo). It worked a treat for Fin in primary as he was sometimes too embarrassed to disrupt everyone by speaking out loud.

      Stevie x

  24. 14 November 2016 / 8:29 am

    Great Post to raise awareness, so much stigma associated with it :) My 9 year old niece has Type 1 Diabetes, She almost didn’t make when she became ill 5 or so years ago, she has had a lot of up and downs but continues to fight and is managing the condition so maturely – Keep up the good work :)

    • 14 November 2016 / 9:36 am

      Thank you x I actually feel like crying in frustration at some of the Tweets I am seeing already today. So many misconceptions out there x

  25. 14 November 2016 / 12:04 pm

    Thank you for your hard work, Stevie. It must be incredibly frustrating for you to be tweeted misconceptions about type 1 diabetes. I was frustrated when suffering from gestational diabetes. I had someone contact me claiming that gestational diabetes doesn’t exist and that I should just stop taking my insulin and checking my blood sugars! I was furious, but didn’t reply. They didn’t deserve a response. I too am sick of the media spreading the myth that diabetic people are unhealthy and obese.

    • 14 November 2016 / 12:08 pm

      It does drive you slighty mad after a while. I try to mostly ignore it, but sometimes it does get to me and I do feel like screaming at them. I have been known to scream at the tv actually….

      Stevie x