A MOTHER who has battled type one diabetes for more than half a century has been awarded a medal.

Enid Ellis, from Foulridge, was handed the Alan Nabarro medal at a ceremony at Airedale Hospital’s diabetes centre.

The former secretary, 82, was diagnosed with the disease when she was 29-years-old after the birth of her son.

Type one diabetes is an autoimmune disease which develops when the pancreas does not produce insulin.

Patients with the disease have to inject insulin regularly to keep blood glucose levels stable.

Mrs Ellis said those with diabetes can still live a full life.

She said: “I never let diabetes stop me from getting on with my day to day life.

“As well as keeping my career, my husband and I were walkers and I was always following him up a mountain.

“We don’t get out as much now, but I still try to remain as active as I can.

“It is difficult, but I manage to follow certain rules.

“When you have diabetes, everything in life matters towards managing it. I always watch what I eat, and check my blood sugar levels at least three times a day.”

As well as her own diabetes, she had to care for her son’s who was diagnosed at the age of 14.

The Alan Nabarro medal is awarded to people who have lived with diabetes for 50 years.

Mr Nabarro waged a lifelong battle against discrimination against people with diabetes.

In 1968 he was awarded the OBE for his work with young people in London.

Mrs Ellis, who was also the former president of Pendle’s Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland organisation, said: “I wasn’t sure what to expect when coming to collect this medal.

“My husband reminded me that it’s important to encourage people who are just starting out with diabetes, and show them that it’s possible to live a long and full life.

“I feel so special receiving this medal today and want to thank the diabetes team at Airedale hospital for all their support.”

Dr Thet Koto, who presented Mrs Ellis with the medal, said: “We are delighted to look after patients like Mrs Ellis who work hard to keep their condition under control.

“When you have a disease like diabetes, it is not just a case of a doctor prescribing treatment to the patient, but it is a partnership between the doctor, nurses and the patient.”

“We are very proud of Mrs Ellis, and presenting her with this medal is a very special moment.”