Our resource hub is home to a wealth of articles, stories and videos about managing and living with type 1 diabetes.
Place your order for our free information packs that support adults and children who have been recently diagnosed.
Our researchers are working on different ways to develop a cure for type 1 diabetes - from growing insulin-producing beta cells in labs to hacking the immune system.
Learn about the technologies that can deliver insulin automatically when needed. And discover the next generation of insulins that are currently being developed.
We have a wide range of fun and festive designs to choose from. Fund life changing research while spreading joy this Christmas!
This Christmas, your gift can bring us closer to a cure for type 1 diabetes – and every pound you give to our Christmas Appeal will be doubled.
The announcement is the biggest treatment breakthrough for type 1 diabetes since the discovery of insulin.
This event is designed for anyone living with type 1 diabetes who would like to learn more about managing their wellbeing across a variety of contexts.
We provide a wealth of information and free resources to help you support and empower your patients or students.
Take our free course for schools to learn more about supporting pupils with type 1 diabetes in educational settings.
Home > Knowledge & support > Resource hub > “Hybrid closed loop gives us confidence” – a family’s experience of life-changing tech
We were three weeks from James’s thirteenth birthday when I got the call with the news that he had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes from my wife, Helen.
He had been ill for a number of weeks and I took the call, while working away, to urgently get to Nottingham Children’s Hospital. So during a frantic jog across one city, a wait and train journey followed by a cycle across Nottingham, I was thinking the worst. However, Helen was with him and he was starting to look better already.
The only contact I’d had with type 1 had been a tragic one. My mother’s best friend had lived with type 1 from the 1960s and when I was just 15, she had collapsed in our home and later died in hospital that evening. I had pushed that memory away for 30 years, but it came flooding back as I saw James being treated for the same condition. Thankfully things have moved on dramatically since the mid-80s; the understanding, technology and research has made such a difference and the good news is, thanks to organisations like JDRF, things are not standing still.
As we struggled with the news and the amount of information and sessions we had to undertake in that first 12 hours, we were approached by consultant Tabitha Randall, who apologised for the speed of the additional questions but as it was a trial for newly diagnosed people experiencing a ‘honeymoon period‘; she needed to know if we would sign James up to be on the hybrid closed loop (HCL) trial within the day.
When he started the trial he could have been randomised onto injections or onto the HCL. We discovered he would get the HCL, sensor, pump and phone with type 1 data algorithm and he has never known any other way of managing his type 1.
Three weeks later we were on a family holiday in Florida and coming to terms not only with his new condition but also this new equipment. We celebrated his thirteenth birthday in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and we had one of the best holidays we’ve ever had: the medical pass Disney gave us was little consolation but we will take every little positive we can get. More importantly he was able to eat and drink what we were able to eat and was kept happy and healthy.
James has benefitted from the HCL by having it from day one of his diagnosis. It has not been all plain-sailing, there are always frustrations and little incidents as we got used to both the condition and new way of living.
For us the last five years has been a huge learning curve and it’s only really been over the last 12 months I started to realise how type 1 is a mental as well as a physical pressure. Because James is so physically healthy, I forget this comes at a daily cost. Batteries on pumps fail and beep, insulin gets low and beeps. There needs to be set changes, he needs to keep on top of supplies. If we’re away from home and especially for foreign holidays you need to plan, double check and face airport security who have little awareness of medical equipment.
And just because he has the HCL doesn’t exclude him from the highs and lows which other people with type 1 face. Hot weather can sometimes floor him and we need to adjust to those moments when he just needs to stop. Letting him go off to university was as stressful for us as it was for him.
But the HCL and his management keeps him nearly constantly ‘in range’ and as a consequence of that, five years on, he is happy healthy and is currently away at university and independently managing his life, including his type 1. He is involved in sport at uni and currently following his ambitions to become a TV and film producer. He plans to live overseas for a while. The HCL gives us as confidence we may not have had.
We’re so grateful to JDRF for funding this research and in April I joined the team to run the London Marathon to raise funds for even more research.
Our family are incredibly conscious of how fortunate we have been.
We hope all children, regardless of where they are in the UK, will have a chance to have this technology and see the benefits we have seen.
Find out what hybrid closed loop technology is and how it works
Find out how our research, funded by our supporters, led to the development of hybrid closed loop technology.
Find out about the fun and inspiring ways to raise money for type 1 diabetes research!
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.
Carole was misdiagnosed with type 2 diabetes when she was 50. After being correctly diagnosed with type 1, she accessed cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help her come to terms with living with the condition.
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.