Sudbury: Medal for 81-yr-old diabetes patient

Charity walkers taking part in last year's Sudbury Fun Run. Diabetes UK wants people to do the same

Charity walkers taking part in last year's Sudbury Fun Run. Diabetes UK wants people to do the same for their charity later this month.

A WOMAN who has had to inject herself four times day for the past 50 years to keep her diabetes under control has been awarded a medal.

Margaret Lock, 81, from Great Cornard near Sudbury, was presented with the Alan Nabarro medal by the charity Diabetes UK.

It is awarded in recognition of patients who have successfully managed Type 1 diabetes for half a century by giving themselves regular insulin injections.

Ms Lock, who is a retired personel officer, was diagnosed with the condition in 1962. She said while it took discipline to self-adminster a strict regime of medication, she had always tried not to let the condition rule her life.

She said: “For the first 10 years, I had tablets which then stopped working so I had to start on the injections. In those days it involved a glass syringe and putting needles into surgical spirit to clean them. Although I still have to inject myself four times a day, the needles are much finer and the medication is all in a pen so you don’t have to mix it. It’s so much easier than it was.”

Contrary to the common diabetic stereotype, Ms Lock said she had never been overweight, had never smoked and seldom drank alcohol. She added: “In fact, when I was first diagnosed, I only went to the doctors because I had lost weight and had come out in blotches. I initially thought it was an allergy of some sort but the GP confirmed the diagnosis with a water test.”

Not only has Ms Lock managed to keep her diabetes under control, she has also been able to keep active and healthy in other ways such as tending to her garden.

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Consultant in diabetes at West Suffolk Hospital, Nishan Wijenaike, said Ms Lock should be proud of her achievement, adding: “Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition that can be successfully managed, allowing the person with diabetes to continue their normal day-to-day life.

“Margaret is a testament to this and we are delighted to be able to present her with this medal on behalf of Diabetes UK, as living with type 1 diabetes for such a long time is a real achievement.

“Being able to give her this recognition also sets a great example to our other patients by showing them that if they work at it, then can successfully manage their condition and stay well for many years to come.”

More than 270,000 people are currently living with diabetes in the Eastern region, and with almost 80,000 still undiagnosed.

Diabetes UK is encouraging people to take part in the walk event attached to Sudbury Fun Run on March 29 to help raise funds for the charity. Visit or call 01376 505245 for details.