Horsham pensioner’s medal for managing diabetes for 70 years

Gerald Law with his three medals alongside Ben Field, Joy Law, James Clark, and Susan Stockley.
Gerald Law with his three medals alongside Ben Field, Joy Law, James Clark, and Susan Stockley.

A Horsham pensioner has been awarded a Diabetes UK medal for successfully living with the condition for more than 70 years.

Gerald Law, 75, was presented with the John Macleod Medal at an open morning at the Earlswood Centre in Earlswood on Wednesday March 18.

The former mechanic was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of two and has controlled the condition with daily insulin injections.

Mr Law said: “It was so long ago there was no NHS when I was first diagnosed.

“People’s understanding of the illness is so much better now – and the needles are much smaller now which is great.”

The Earlswood Centre, run by Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, opened in February and specialises in diabetes and endocrine care.

A team of specialist doctors and nurses moved to the centre from East Surrey Hospital in Redhill and are keen to raise awareness of the help they offer people living with the condition.

Susan Stockley, lead diabetes specialist nurse said that education is key to encouraging people living with diabetes to live healthier and longer lives.

She added: “The new large space means we can run separate clinics for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes and clinics for young adults and people using an insulin pump.

“We can also treat patients with monogenic diabetes which means they no longer have to travel to Brighton and Oxford and we are bringing diabetes and endocrine care for local people into one place.”

Diabetes UK awards three types of medal to people who have lived with the progressive condition for a great number of years.