Could Theresa May become the first ever world leader with type 1 diabetes?

Posted on 01 July 2016

For the past few days the headlines in the UK, and across the world, have been dominated by the fallout from the UK public vote to leave the European Union. After David Cameron announced his resignation last week, the race to become the Conservative Party’s new leader and by extension the new prime minister has intensified.

JDRF Westminster Palace reception. Theresa May and Elouisa Baker. Copyright John Nguyen/JNVisuals 25/04//2016
Theresa May at JDRF’s #Type1Catalyst event in April 2016

One name that has surged towards the top of the list is that of Theresa May.

Theresa May’s career in Parliament

Ms May has been Home Secretary since 2010. She is the longest-serving holder of the prestigious office– one of the great offices of state – for more than 60 years.

Living with type 1 diabetes

In 2013 Theresa was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after doctors originally believed she had type 2 diabetes. During the winter of 2012 May went to her GP who ran a blood test which showed very high blood glucose levels.

Theresa, who has been MP for Maidenhead since 1997, spoke to the Mail on Sunday at the time, saying:

‘[Type 1 diabetes] doesn’t affect how I do the job or what I do. It’s just part of life… so it’s a case of head down and getting on with it.’

Meeting the type 1 diabetes community

Ms May has attended a number of JDRF events, including the 2015 Sugarplum Ball – which raised £620,000 in support of JDRF, and most recently JDRF’s #Type1Catalyst event in the Houses of Parliament.

The Conservative Party will elect a new leader after a leadership election, set for September this year. This new leader will then, almost certainly, become the new prime minister of the UK.

Karen Addington CEO of JDRF with Tess Black and Home Secretary Theresa May
Theresa May with JDRF UK Chief Executive Karen Addington. Click to enlarge.

Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF in the UK:

‘Theresa May has been inspirational to many children and adults affected by type 1 diabetes.

She attends our events in a personal capacity and is wonderfully warm with the families who approach her for a chat and a selfie.

Children who live with the condition tell us she’s a role model showing what someone with type 1 diabetes can achieve.’