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Gants Hill author awarded medal marking 50-year battle with Type One diabetes

PUBLISHED: 14:07 09 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:07 09 May 2018

Warren and Professor Choudhury discussing the medal with Mr Alan Spink, chairman of Diabetes UK Ilford branch. Photo: Warren Grynberg

Warren and Professor Choudhury discussing the medal with Mr Alan Spink, chairman of Diabetes UK Ilford branch. Photo: Warren Grynberg

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A Gants Hill author and tour guide has received a medal in recognition of his courage in battling diabetes for more than 50 years.

Warren Grynberg receiving the Alan Nabarro medal from Professor Tahseen A. Choudhury, the Hon. President of the branch, and consultant in Diabetes at the Royal London Hospital. Photo: Warren GrynbergWarren Grynberg receiving the Alan Nabarro medal from Professor Tahseen A. Choudhury, the Hon. President of the branch, and consultant in Diabetes at the Royal London Hospital. Photo: Warren Grynberg

Warren Grynberg, 70, was presented with Alan Nabarro Medal at a ceremony organised by Diabetes UK on Tuesday, May 8.

The medal - named after a campaigner who fought to tackle discrimination against diabetes sufferers - is awarded to those who have lived with the disease for half a century.

“It is brilliant,” Warren said, commenting on how it feels to receive the award.

“Fortunately, so far I have no major complications whatsoever.”

Warren Grynberg receiving the Alan Nabarro medal from Professor Tahseen A. Choudhury, the Hon. President of the branch, and consultant in Diabetes at the Royal London Hospital. Photo: Warren GrynbergWarren Grynberg receiving the Alan Nabarro medal from Professor Tahseen A. Choudhury, the Hon. President of the branch, and consultant in Diabetes at the Royal London Hospital. Photo: Warren Grynberg

The Denham Drive resident was diagnosed with Type One diabetes - an autoimmune disease which prevents the body from being able to regulate blood sugar levels - after falling into a coma on Boxing Day in 1967 aged 19.

And, until he married his wife at the age of 25, Warren confesses he was not very good at managing his diabetes.

“Young diabetics don’t take care of themselves because there are women and parties and that sort of thing,” he said.

“But as the years progressed, I learned how to look after myself.”

Many Type One diabetes sufferers face complications including loss of sight and neuropathy, in other words nerve damage, which can require limb amputation.

But Warren boasts that he has staved these off by maintaining a “carbohydrate controlled diet” and taking regular exercise, including going to the gym regularly.

Using an app called Carbs and Cals, he calculates the amount of carbohydrate in his food.

He then measures his blood sugar levels with a monitor to work out how much he can consume without tipping the delicate balance.

Diabetes has not hampered Warren from leading a fulfilling life - he is a blue badge London tour guide and in 2016 released a photo book of the City of Westminster.

With 50 years now under his belt, he next hopes to receive the John Macleod medal given to those who have lived with diabetes for 70 years.

He said: “As long I’ve got legs that walk and a voice that talks I am going to keep enjoying life.”

The Ilford branch of Diabetes UK meet in Valentines Mansion on the first Tuesday evening of each month at 7.45pm.

For more info on Diabetes UK go: www.ilford-and-district.diabetesukgroup.org


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