TWO residents have told of how they have turned their lives’ around by successfully battling diabetes.

Yvonne Tyrer, 60, who is a full-time carer for her husband Graham, 66, was diagnosed with diabetes around nine years ago, but has now got her blood sugar levels under control.

While Roman Sekowski, 43, from Brierfield, has seen a dramatic weight loss and his blood sugar levels return to normal after a diabetes diagnosis.

Mrs Tyrer, also from Brierfield, said it was only when she became seriously ill with a kidney infection that she knew she needed to look after herself better.

She admits it wasn’t easy and she struggled at first taking three or four years to see any improvement in her blood sugar levels, but her diabetes, whilst never cured, is now in remission.

By cutting out fizzy drinks high in sugar, particularly Coke and replacing it with alternatives such as Coke Zero and eating smaller portion sizes, Mrs Tyrer has lost two and a half stone in 12 months.

And Mrs Tyrer also belly-dances with a local club which she took up about 11 years ago to help her keep more active and have a bit of fun too.

She said: “Fortunately I’m not a big chocolate eater or sugar eater but I did cut out my ‘full-fat’ Coke habit and replace it with a healthier version.

“I haven’t restricted myself to any foods, I now just eat smaller portions.

“What I would say to anyone in a similar situation to mine is to make one change at a time, and don’t do everything at once.”

Similarly, Mr Sekowski was only diagnosed with diabetes after taking up the free NHS health check even though he had a lot of the symptoms already including insomnia, frequent urination in the night, extreme tiredness, and extreme thirst with a very strange sensation on his tongue.

Mr Sekowski had lived with these symptoms for around two years but put them down to the stress of work. When he was diagnosed with diabetes, it all finally made sense and the very next day made the decision to do something about it. Within two months, he has lost over a stone and a half in weight and his blood sugar levels are now back to normal.

He said: “My sleep has improved which as a result has improved my family life because I’m not as tired now and I have the energy to be involved with my family rather than falling asleep as soon as I come home from work.

“Family support is so important. I would not have made this progress without the help of my wife Magdelene and the support of my two children.”

Dr Rahul Thakur, clinical lead for diabetes at East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “Both Yvonne and Roman are proof of what self-care and taking control of your life and responsibility for one’s health can do. “

The pair have spoken out following World Diabetes Day which took place yesterday and aims to raise awareness of the condition.

Symptoms of diabetes include feeling thirsty, passing urine frequently for no reason, regularly feeling very tired with no energy and unexplained weight loss.

Anyone with diabetes concerns can speak to their GP or visit