Philomena awarded 50 year diabetes medal | Newry City News | Latest Newry News, Newry Sport and Newry Business for Newry City

Philomena awarded 50 year diabetes medal | Newry City News

A Southern Health and Social Care Trust patient has received a commemorative medal in recognition of managing Type 1 diabetes for over five decades.


Philomena awarded 50 year diabetes medal | Newry City News - news in newry today


Philomena Cunningham, who is from the Newry and Mourne area, was awarded the Alan Nabarro medal, which is awarded to people who have lived with diabetes for 50 years.

Trust Diabetes Specialist Nurse Jennifer McCormack wrote to Diabetes UK to see if they would send Philomena a medal in recognition of the courage and perseverance of living with diabetes for 50 years, and both Jennifer and Philomena were thrilled when the medal arrived.

Type 1 diabetes develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body have been destroyed, and the body is unable to produce any insulin.

The condition is treated by daily insulin doses, taken either by injections or via an insulin pump.

Type 1 diabetes accounts for 10 per cent of all cases of diabetes in adults.




Over the past five decades, Philomena has experienced many changes in the management of her condition.

“Living with diabetes for 50 years has meant I’ve seen massive changes in how diabetes can be managed.

“At the beginning, I had to boil water for my glass syringes and testing blood sugars was an expensive, lengthy task.

“Now I use a smart glucose sensor in my arm, which helps detect my levels.

“I have two types of insulins – one used as a background and one used to manage my meal allowances to help get the balance of making my diabetes much easier.”


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Jennifer McCormack, Diabetes Specialist Nurse at Daisy Hill Hospital, says, “As an Inpatient Diabetes Specialist Nurse, I am so incredibly privileged and inspired to get to see people every day like Philomena who continues to strive and push through the challenges that patients with diabetes are faced with on a day to day basis.

“Diabetes has made major advancements over the years in technologies, medications and using more of a person-centred approach in their management.

She adds, “Look how far we have come in 50 years it gives me goosebumps to see what the next 50 years bring.”


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Posted by on Dec 4 2023. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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