Written by Jasmine Malone and Tia Macintyre on Friday 14th June 2019
At OPEN Health, we have a passion for diabetes, a therapy area that we have done a huge amount of work on over many years. This Diabetes Awareness Week we want to help raise awareness by highlighting the many faces of diabetes, starting with one of our very own.
Tia Macintyre is an Account Executive, working with our public relations team here at OPEN Health Patient & Brand Communications. Tia was diagnosed with diabetes two years ago at the tender age of 21 after being admitted to ICU with diabetic ketoacidosis, and has since had a rollercoaster journey learning to adapt and live with diabetes in her life. But the one of the biggest challenges Tia has faced is getting others to understand her type.
“It’s one of the hardest parts – telling people at work or in my personal life. Having to field comments like ‘Should you eat that?’ or ‘Why don’t you try xx?’. The type of diabetes I have is Type 1. Unlike the type most people are aware of (Type 2), Type 1 is an autoimmune disorder – my body causes the diabetes, not my diet or lifestyle,” she says. Tia documents her story on her blog, and regularly helps support diabetes charities and promote awareness of Type 1 diabetes.
“There are some wonderful charities such as JDRF, Diabetes UK and ‘influencers’ online who focus on promoting education and awareness of Type 1 diabetes, as well as the other types of diabetes,” says Tia. “Of course – like anyone – a cure or less invasive treatment would be great, but this is very idealistic. In the meantime, it would be great to open a dialogue about how challenging it is living with diabetes. It is a 24/7 job, and there is so much that people don’t see – from the symptoms of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) to the burden of trying to prevent long-term complications.”
Join us and Tia this week in recognising how many people are affected by diabetes, regardless of type, and how different the challenges they face might be.
One in 15 people are affected by diabetes, regardless of type – share this article to show your support for greater awareness of diabetes.
Should you wish to know more about OPEN Health or our work in the field of diabetes and patient engagement, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.