|Ivan Crawford receiving 60 year medal from Dr Helen Whitehead.
A DROMORE man who has been on insulin for more than 60 years, has received the RD Lawrence medal at a special reception in Lagan Valley Hospital
Ivan Crawford from Banbridge Road was recognised by the charity Diabetes UK for his perseverance in living with diabetes for over six decades.
The RD Lawrence medal is named after Dr Lawrence, one of the first people in the UK in the 1920s and a founding member of the British Diabetic Association, now Diabetes UK.
Ivan, now 67, was just seven years old when he was first diagnosed with insulin dependent diabetes, Type 1, an illness that was to change his life.
He had shown signs of diabetes and taken to the Massereene Hospital where he was put into a coma while he was monitored and attempts were made to stabilise his bloods during his six week stay. He was later transferred to the Children's Hospital before he was allowed home. From an early age he was shown how to inject himself with insulin.
In the early days of his diagnosis Ivan knew no-one else with the
condition hut now not only does
his wife suffer from Type 2 - but his daughter Amanda Porter (35), son Gary (32), his sister Vera McGowen and granddaughter Louise (9) have all been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
"I don't like to dwell on it," said Ivan who ran a chip shop in Dromore until his retirement. "I always believed that a cure would one day be found, maybe not in my generation but for my granddaughter. There have been so many advances in medicine since I was diagnosed as a child that I feel there is a cure out there. I really hope so."
Ivan has always taken diabetes in his stride.
"I don't really remember anything different so growing up with diabetes was never really a problem to me," he said. "I had to bring my own lunch to school which was always weighed. Everything I ate had to be weighed and I had a pair of scales.
"To get the medal I must be doing something right. I still take the odd sweet but like all diabetics you know the consequences and you have to work that little bit extra. Its a matter of working your insulin."