A dad-of-three diagnosed with diabetes at the age of nine has been presented with a national award for successfully managing the condition for 50 years.
Richard Mowberry, of Chestnut Drive, Nuthall, was given the award by Diabetes UK and was presented with the medal by Dr Tariq Hama at the Hama Medical Centre on Wednesday January 21.
The 59-year-old was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1965, which is where the pancreas stops producing the insulin that breaks down glucose from food and causes the levels of sugar in the blood to rise to dangerous levels.
Therefore sufferers must inject themselves with insulin with every meal and monitor their blood sugar levels,
Richard said that although the condition can be challenging, as long as people manage their diabetes properly then there is no need for it to stop them from doing anything.
He added: “If someone tells me I can’t do something because I’m diabetic then I make sure I do it.
“Injecting has become just like brushing my teeth - it is so automatic.”
Although diabetics are normally warned not to participate in extreme sports, Richard has been scuba diving, white water rafting, bungee jumping and even completed a 2,000ft skydive.
Richard also has a busy family life to contend with. He has been married to his wife Shirley for 30 years and they have three daughters - 22-year-old Lauren and 20-year old twins Claire and Nicola, who both have Downs Syndrome.
However, Richard said that his experience as an auxiliary nurse at Nottingham City Hospital had encouraged him to manage the condition properly as he often treats other diabetes sufferers.
He added: “Working where I do, I see patients whose control is not as good so they develop kidney problems or the bones in their feet soften, so it keeps me on track.
“I am always in control of the diabetes, it’s not controlling me, and I am careful not to go to extremes.
“The support I have been given by Hama Medical Centre has been fabulous. I couldn’t do this on my own.
Dr Hama said Richard was very deserving of the award as he had very tight control of his condition.
He added: “Diabetes is a multi-system disorder and to survive this long and manage it as well as he has done is a real achievement.”