Snowboard champ proves diabetes is no barrier
ONE of the UK's top freeride extreme snowboarders – who also has diabetes – is talking to young patients from Southmead Hospital about the condition.
Chris Southwell is a world-class freeride snowboarder who travels the globe to compete and is the highest world-ranking Briton. He has type 1 diabetes and will be speaking to teenagers with the condition about how diabetes has not held him back in pursuing his dreams.
The diabetes adult and paediatric teams at North Bristol NHS Trust are developing their teenage and young adult services.
At the age of 16 or 17 diabetes patients move from being seen in paediatric clinics to adult clinics and the team at Southmead Hospital want to make this transition smoother.
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Each year they hold an open evening for teenage diabetes patients to talk about their experiences. This year's event is on Thursday.
Chris said: "I want to show these young people that the condition is not a barrier to your ambitions.
"I hope that I can inspire them to think differently about their diabetes and how they can manage their condition rather than their condition controlling their lives.
"It is great to be involved in such a positive project with the diabetes service at Southmead Hospital."
Diabetes specialist nurse Debbie Stern, from Southmead Hospital, said: "Understanding the experiences of other people with diabetes is important for teenagers who are becoming more responsible for managing their own condition.
"These open evenings are a chance for young people with diabetes to find out that the condition does not have to hold you back from achieving your goals."