Jacqui shares diabetes story after carol-singing festive fundraiser

The carol rehearsal at Barley church 

The carol rehearsal at Barley church - Credit: Newlings of Royston

A Royston funeral arranger has shared her story of living with diabetes - after a special carol service at Barley's parish church to drum up cash and raise awareness of the condition. 

Jacqui Gordon works at Newlings of Royston - her employer teamed up with Barley's St Margaret of Antioch Church on Thursday to record Christmas carols and spread festive cheer. 

She has lived with type 1 diabetes - a serious, chronic condition where the body can't produce insulin - for more than 30 years.

It's now 100 years since insulin was discovered -  before 1921, it was exceptional for people with type 1 diabetes to live more than a year or two.

Barley choir singing carols

Andy Mcfadyen, Jacqui, Jess, Claire and Jenna and the rest of the Newlings of Royston Staff with along with some members of Barley Choir. - Credit: Claire Harding-Edwards

Jacqui said: "Because I have diabetes, it sometimes feels as though the rest of the world is always asking me, 'Can you do this? Can you do that?' It can make me question myself, but I try not to let it affect me. 

"Every day, diabetes can throw you a curveball because of hormones, different foods, the weather, other life stress or any number of factors. I have to be mentally strong to be able to handle the stress that comes with it.

"New technology has helped me so much. I've got a glucose monitor that automatically sends my readings to a cloud that my doctors can access. It's no longer a case of writing numbers in a book for an endocrinologist - and three months later they're asking why your blood sugars were high at a random point in time that you can barely remember. 

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"It's not like you can't have fun but you have to be a little bit more aware of yourself. I'll go out and have a few drinks. But I understand that I might have to take less of my background insulin, or I need to make sure I'm taking more food to prevent hypos. 

"I've had so many people day I don't look like I have diabetes. I mean, what is someone with diabetes supposed to look like? So, I educate them that there are two types, and the type I have cannot be prevented and can strike at any time.

"The rest of my body is working fine - it's just my pancreas that's the problem. 

"I have an insulin pump and with the help of funds raised, research will enable my glucose monitor to speak with my pump in future which will do all the hard work for me. After 35 years of having the condition, it cannot come soon enough and will hopefully transform my life and that of others."

Footage of the Newlings of Royston sings Christmas event will soon be available to watch on the firm's Facebook page. To add to their fundraising total go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/newlingsofroyston and for more on the business go to www.newlingsofroyston.co.uk,