Vol­un­teer’s 50 years of di­a­betes

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Roundabout -

A di­a­betic char­ity vol­un­teer is set to be pre­sented with a cer­tifi­cate af­ter liv­ing with the con­di­tion for more than 50 years.

Michael Owen, 74, from Can­ter­bury Road, Ken­ning­ton, said his life changed at the age of 19 when he was first di­ag­nosed.

At the time knowl­edge of how to treat the con­di­tion was not as ad­vanced as to­day and for many it could have been a bleak di­ag­no­sis of type one di­a­betes.

Mr Owen, a former train­ing of­fi­cer for Mid Kent Wa­ter, was di­ag­nosed af­ter be­ing in a mo­tor­bike ac­ci­dent in 1961 when he first suf­fered the symp­toms of thirst, fa­tigue and the reg­u­lar need to go to the toi­let.

At the time he didn’t re­alise what the prob­lem was and had to be taken to hos­pi­tal af­ter he was found col­lapsed at work.

He said: “My mother said if I didn’t go to the doc­tor’s then she would frog­march me there.

“When I first was di­ag­nosed I was told that my body was not pro­duc­ing in­sulin and there­fore I had a year to live. It was a shock for me and my par­ents.

“I was still 18 and used to go­ing out to the pub and hav­ing a packet of chips on the way home. Af­ter­wards I was told I couldn’t do that any more.

“They brought in the sy­ringes and you had to learn how to in­ject your­self. If you say ‘I can’t do that’ it was made clear that with­out it I would die. You sud­denly re­alise it’s not funny any more.”

Mr Owen is a reg­u­lar at­tendee at the Ash­ford Di­a­betic Sup­port Group, where he vol­un­teers as a trea­surer.

At a meet­ing due to be held on Tues­day, June 14 he will be pre­sented with the Alan Navaro medal for liv­ing with the con­di­tion for more than 50 years.

The group holds bi-monthly meet­ings at the com­mu­nity room at the Tesco Crooks­foot store off the A20 in Willes­bor­ough.

To find out more about the group or to get sup­port visit www.adsg.org.uk

Pic­ture: Gary Browne FM4358430

LEFT: Ash­ford Mayor Ge­orge Kooware and May­oress Glo­ria Cham­pion with Liz Spencer and Ash­ford Ku­mon stu­dents

MEDAL: Michael Owen has had di­a­betes for 50 years

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