Richard Lane, President of Diabetes UK, visited Clitheroe to present Leslie Weatherall with the R. D. Lawrence Medal, awarded to people who have been treated with insulin for 50 years.
The presentation photo shows Gordon Dixon, chairman of Ribble Valley Diabetic Group, looking on.
Mr Lane then gave an update on the latest developments in diabetes care to members of the local group. He reported that Diabetes UK’s partnership with Tesco had raised the profile of diabetes, and the big collection last weekend was a huge success.
He explained how money raised would be spent; 40% on developing a vaccine for Type 1 diabetes, 40% on an awareness campaign for Type 2, and the remaining 20% on promoting lifestyle changes. This is because there are three million people with diabetes, which could rise to five million by 2025 unless action is taken, together with 850.000 people who had symptoms but were undiagnosed.
Diabetes is the main caused of kidney failure, strokes and blindness, as well as amputations, and there are 100 a week in UK, 80% of which could be prevented with early diagnosis and correct treatment.
Mr Lane added diabetes takes up 11% of the total NHS budget, set to rise to 15% by 2025, and research is ongoing into artificial pancreas replacement, beta cell research and islet transplantion. Richard himself was the first person in the UK to have an islet transplant operation and he concluded by saying minor lifestyle changes such as increased exercise and less carbohydrate intake would be beneficial
After many questions he was thanked by the chairman.