Blackwood woman shares diabetes story with AMs

10:20am Monday 16th June 2014

ASSEMBLY Members marked Diabetes Week by meeting with people in Wales living with the illness at the Senedd last week.

The annual event organised by Jenny Rathbone AM and Diabetes UK Cymru, offers an opportunity for people to meet with their local AM and discuss diabetes services in their area.

As part of this year’s Diabetes Week, people from across Wales have shared their experiences of living with the condition. People who are affected by diabetes voiced their concerns about care in their area on a map of Wales, which was displayed at the event.

Kate Matthews, from Blackwood, has lived with Type 1 diabetes for more than 30 years and attended to talk about her desire to see an increased access to insulin pumps.

Insulin pumps offer an alternative to injections for some with Type 1 diabetes. They can help to improve overall diabetes control, enabling a better quality of life.

Ms Matthews is also a member of Diabetes UK Cymru’s Diabetes Voices, a network of people who want to influence and improve diabetes care in Wales.

She said: “It was great to be able to speak to my local AM. I explained how access to insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring sensors concerns me and that I would like to see them freely available, without delays.

“The event was also a great opportunity to meet other people with diabetes in Wales and talk about living with the condition.”

There are currently more than 36,000 people who have diabetes in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area, while it is currently estimated that there are 60,000 people living with the condition but who have not yet been diagnosed in Wales.

Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “More and more people in Wales are being diagnosed with diabetes and it is vital that their voices are being heard by their representatives. By taking the opportunity to share their stories people living with diabetes can really help raise awareness of the condition in and around South East Wales and the impact which it can have on their lives.”

For further information about diabetes, contact Diabetes UK Cymru by phoning 029 2066 8276 or email or visit


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