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Shared experience

Accessing type 1 technology: Sarah Gatward

Sarah has been living with type 1 diabetes for almost 50 years. Here, Sarah talks about her experiences of being involved in clinical trials and how she’s seen huge developments in the progress of type 1 treatments and tech.

Sarah in her kitchen sat smiling at camera

Sarah’s journey towards getting access to type 1 diabetes technology was a long one.

The early days

I took part in an early insulin pump trial in the US when I was 15. The 80s was a very different time; the pumps were about four times the size they are today!

I am privileged to have been involved in many trials over the years and it is incredible to see how far research has come in a short time. I was once on a trial with a primitive insulin pump so the fact we’re now starting to see closed-loop insulin delivery systems come to market is a testament to the fact that research is the only way forward. I am excited to have played my part in it.

Improving quality of life

Looking back on it today, the technology then was very basic but even that gave me so much more freedom. If I wanted to eat a snack with my friends outside my usual meal times, I could! Cross-country running for the high school team became so much simpler with fewer hypos.

I am inspired to think of the people who have committed their careers to helping people like me. Thinking about their drive and motivation reminds me of the light at the end of the tunnel – it’s a powerful feeling. The rate at which research has progressed since I was diagnosed leaves me excited for the future.

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