A young Doncaster woman who has type 1 diabetes has been to Downing Street to raise awareness of her condition.
Lydia Parkhurst, aged 20, visited London after a personal invitation from Prime Minister Theresa May, who also lives with the autoimmune condition.
Lydia said: “I visited 10 Downing Street with my family and proudly stood in front of the famous door with my FreeStyle Libre on my arm and insulin pump on my back, being inspired to not let type 1 diabetes hold me back.
“We were invited personally by Prime Minister Theresa May when I chatted to her about her diabetes and how she managed the condition.”
Lydia first met the Prime Minister at an event last year at an event held by JDRF, which is the leading global organization which is funding type 1 diabetes research.
Lydia, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in August 2009 at the age of 12, added: “Arriving at Downing Street with my JDRF banner and standing outside the front door where Theresa May resides was such a surreal experience.
“When you get diagnosed with type 1 you’re often told that the condition doesn’t stop you doing anything, (apart from being in the army or being an astronaut, but sometimes it’s hard to actually believe this, especially when the person is normally a health care professional who usually doesn’t live with diabetes.
“However standing there I felt a sense of pride. Whether you support the Conservative Party, the Labour Party or any other, Theresa May shows us that type 1 diabetes has not held her back.”
She added that she was proud to share the experience with her family.
She said: “Being able to have this opportunity with my family was such a special experience. My Mum, Dad and sister, who have been there for me since day one helping carb count, attending hospital appointments and occasionally providing a shoulder to cry on were now stood beside me once again helping to spread the word about type 1 diabetes.”
Upon arrival at Number 10, the family were given a tour and told about the history of the building.
Lydia,who is from Campall, said: “Heading towards the main staircase was impressive, with its yellow walls and black and white photos of all the past Prime Ministers - although David Cameron hasn’t got his up there yet.
“The Cabinet Room was one of the most impressive rooms in Downing Street. We couldn’t resist having a seat in the PM’s seat where the Queen has also sat when she attended Cabinet.”
For more information, please visit jdrf.org.uk or follow us on Twitter: @JDRFUK.