A WOMAN who has had diabetes for 60 years and set up a support group in Taunton has received a national award.

Sue Ingham, 64, of Taunton, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of four, has been presented with Diabetes UK's Robert Lawrence medal by her GP, Dr John 'Doc' Martin, of St James Medical Centre.

The ceremony coincided with the tenth anniversary of the Taunton and District Diabetes Support Group, which Miss Ingham helped set up to raise awareness of the condition and raise funds for research.

She has two other sisters with diabetes and has managed it through blood glucose testing and insulin injections, a healthy diet and a positive attitude.

Miss Ingham said: "Things have changed a lot since I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 60 years ago. Today, for example, there’s much more emphasis on keeping a healthy weight and technology for treating diabetes has come on in leaps and bounds.

"Diabetes can have serious complications, such as blindness and amputation, but I’ve accepted that it’s part of me. I always tell other people to make a friend of their diabetes.

"Don’t fight it because it will come back to bite you, but if you have concerns, there are people out there who can help."

Type 1 diabetes cannot currently be prevented or cured and people with the condition need to take daily insulin either by injections or a pump to stay alive.

The Robert Lawrence medal goes to people who have lived with diabetes for 60 years.

Annika Palmer, South West regional head of Diabetes UK, said: "As well as health professionals, Diabetes UK local groups can offer much needed support, because people with diabetes understand what others with the condition are going through.

"We would like to wish the Taunton group a very happy tenth birthday and thank them for being such a strong and supportive presence for local people with diabetes over the past decade.

"And happy sixtieth dia-versary to Sue Ingham, a committee member since the group’s earliest days. She is an inspiration, demonstrating how to live a long and healthy life with diabetes, and help others at the same time."

The Diabetes UK Taunton group meets five times a year at the United Reformed Church, Paul Street, Taunton and invites a variety of speakers.

To find out more, contact chairman Bridget Clark on 01823-338347 or bridgetclark2017@gmail.com