Since my last blog at the end of January, with one exception which I will mention at the end, I have enjoyed a good number of events. I was lucky enough to have been invited to speak in Plymouth to the medical and research staff at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Derriford Hospital. I then went to Northern Ireland to meet and speak to the All Parliamentary Diabetes Group of MLAs at Stormont, and to the members of the Omagh and Mid-Ulster Voluntary Groups. I love visiting Northern Ireland and am thrilled that I have been asked to go back twice more in the coming months.
I have also visited and spoken at the Bexley and then the Canterbury & Coastal Voluntary Support Groups (both with Fiona King), and the Boston Voluntary Support Group, and at a meeting of podiastrists and diabetes specialist nurses from the Bromley HealthCare Trust. I attended the Annual Professional Conference in Glasgow and gave the Annual Lecture to the Armstrong Society, which comprises the A-Level science students and staff of St Dunstan’s College in South London.
Meanwhile, the “Putting Feet First” campaign has started with a bang and a flourish. I am thrilled at this, as diabetes foot services have for too long been the “Cinderella” of all diabetes services. On Saturday 19 May, King’s College Hospital is holding its second unique Patient Awareness Day, sponsored by Diabetes UK, and I am delighted to be helping by chairing it again. All are welcome! Details and the application form are shown on the Diabetes UK London Regional website.
I will shortly be speaking to the Luton and South Glos Voluntary Support Groups, helping Iain Frame to present the annual Desmond awards in Leicester, speaking at a Rotary International Conference in Torquay and then presenting to the Norwegian Association of Diabetes Specialist Nurses in Oslo. It’s a hard life being President!!
However, I mentioned at the beginning that there has been one particular sad event that I had to attend. This was the funeral of Sheila Thorne, the remarkable lady who had been treated with insulin for over 81 years, first by Dr Frederick Banting in Canada, and then by Dr RD Lawrence at King’s College Hospital in South London. I was privileged to have been asked to give the eulogy at her funeral, having become quite friendly with her and her husband Ray over the last few months. Despite having had one leg amputated, and being threatened with a similar fate for the other leg, she remained bright, incredibly cheerful and positive right up to the end, and she will be sadly missed.
Well, that’s enough for now. Enjoy the Spring and I look forward to meeting many of my thousands of friends in the coming months. Please remember that all that is achieved by our charity is the result of real team work, that is between the staff and the volunteers, so let’s all try to redouble our efforts for the common good!