Former UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2013, is an Ambassador for JDRF’s global research programme.
Taking up the role in April 2020, Mrs May said that since her own diagnosis, she has “seen the progress JDRF’s international research programme has made.”
Mrs May has been a Member of Parliament since 1997. From 2002 to 2003 she was the first female Chairman of the Conservative Party. In 2010, she was appointed Home Secretary, a position which she held for six years before becoming UK Prime Minister. She was Prime Minister for three years.
First ever world leader with type 1 diabetes
She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes whilst Home Secretary and went on to become the first serving world leader to live with the condition.
Her Ambassador role has seen her champion JDRF’s Connect Immune Research initiative, which brings together researchers from across autoimmune conditions to uncover the common threads in their work – meaning greater efficiency and, hopefully, new treatments, faster.
Mrs May said: “Connect Immune Research is an example of the pioneering innovation that makes our UK scientific research community so globally renowned. It represents a different way of working across research disciplines, collaborating over shared goals. Innovative approaches like this will help the medical research sector adapt to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.”
In November 2021, Mrs May met with Scottish families affected by type 1 diabetes at a JDRF fundraising event in Edinburgh. Marking 100 years since the discovery of insulin, Mrs May spoke about the strength of Scottish type 1 diabetes research science and its potential to lead the way on research breakthroughs, transformational treatments and cures. Read more.