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Home > Knowledge & support > Resource hub > “Being honest allows people to help and support you”
Next month will mark 20 years that I’ve had type 1 diabetes; I was diagnosed when I was seven. It feels like quite a milestone considering how much I’ve seen change and develop in that time.
I’ve always grown up around sports. I’ve got an older brother who used to play football, my dad works in football, and my mum’s dad used to be a footballer as well. I was just kind of born into it. I started working at Sky Sports seven years ago as a runner, then went onto to do travel logistics for all the sports games that are on TV at the weekend.
When the job as production coordinator for Soccer AM became available, I did that for six years and since June I’ve been senior production coordinator with the boxing team.
The biggest thing I’ve had to learn with my diabetes is being in a live environment and working with adrenaline.
After a couple of months at Soccer AM, I noticed how just before we went on air my blood sugar would shoot right up and then I’d be trying to correct it but, as soon as we went off air, it would drop back down again.
With the boxing, it’s a different kind of adrenaline so on the day of a fight, it’s a much longer working day. The adrenaline comes in a bit slower but maybe lasts longer.
I’ve got a FreeStyle Libre glucose monitor which is a game changer for me. It’s just so practical, especially when I’m working in a live environment and I’ve maybe not got time to go and get my little blood glucose testing kit.
On the longer days, I always make sure I’ve got snacks in my bag, whether that’s cereal bars or fruit or just things that I know that I can keep having. And I’ll keep a close eye on my blood sugar.
Because it’s a long day and I’m on my feet all day, my blood sugar is probably more naturally inclined to drop. So I work out what I’d normally inject for what I’m eating and then maybe take one or two units off, but also make sure that I’ve got things like bananas so I’m not allowing myself to go long periods of time without eating.
I’m always very open about my diabetes which I think really helps when I’m working. Having that kind of transparency means that when you’re working at a fast pace with people, if I need to go off for ten minutes, then they’re fine with that.
I sometimes have hypos in the office and I just make sure that I take myself away and do what I need to do. I don’t stress about going back to my desk.
It’s actually a discipline that I’ve had to learn, to prioritise myself so that I’m feeling the best I can and working to the best of my ability instead of maybe trying to push myself and get worn out or not be able to focus.
By being honest and showing that you look after yourself and take the time you need, I think people in the workplace really appreciate and respect that because they know that you’re doing it not just for yourself but also for the quality of your work. It allows them to help and support you, and actually educating people around you is really brilliant.
I just constantly want to keep learning and bettering myself at work. I want to learn as much about live production as possible.
Get information and advice about managing type 1 diabetes in the workplace, including knowing your rights and deciding if and how to tell colleagues about your type 1.
Learn about how to manage your glucose levels around exercise and physical activity, and read stories from those who love sport.
Find out about the research we're doing to prevent, treat and cure type 1 diabetes.
“The long-term health benefits of screening outweigh the short-term stress” – Cerilyn tells us about her experience of finding out her daughter is in the early stages of developing type 1.
Rebekah’s story: “I had no idea that having one autoimmune condition makes you more at risk of getting others”
"Type 1 doesn't get in the way of my sports at all. It's something I just try and manage as best I can."
Maddie Bonser, JDRF's Research Operations Officer, talks about growing up with a brother who has type 1.
Our research is improving the lives of people with type 1 and making strides towards a cure. We’ll keep pushing until we make type 1 diabetes a thing of the past.