A WOMAN from Shoreham Beach with diabetes is asking residents who have the disease to remain diligent about their health as kidney failure is set to double in the next ten years, according to Diabetes UK
Gunn Fusciardi, of Old Fort Road, was diagnosed with type one diabetes 30 years ago, which she described as a ‘very scary’ time.
“I could hear what the doctor was saying, but I didn’t want to know,” said the 54-year-old.
“I had to go to hospital for five days. I learned about what could happen and what I needed to do. It wasn’t like it is today where you can now use an insulin pen. It was very scary.”
The mother, originally from Norway, said she found it difficult to stay on top of her condition and eventually had to be seen by a specialist who broke the news that she was suffering from kidney failure.
“In 2007, I started on the dialysis, which I had four times a week.”
Finding it difficult to juggle work and the treatment, Gunn was advised to go on a list to find a kidney donor.
“But it was difficult to find someone I could use,” said Gunn.
“Then I found out that a friend and my little brother tested themselves without telling me and my brother was a match.”
Left speechless by the kind act, Gunn finally had a donor and has since been able to get her health and life back on track.
“People with diabetes have to be serious about it and understand that it can happen - that the kidneys, legs or eyes can fail.
“I realised that I had to be more careful 15 years ago,” she added.
This month, Diabetes UK released a statement to warn those with type one diabetes that kidney failure was expected to double in the next ten years.
A charity spokesman said: “If the rate of diabetes-related kidney failure stays the same, then the projected increase in diabetes prevalence would rise from about 18,800 this year to 35,000 by 2025.”
According to Diabetes UK, kidney failure is considered to be one of the most severe and life-threatening complications of diabetes and the most expensive to treat, with costs of diabetes-related kidney failure currently running at £940 million a year.
So the projected increase in diabetes-related kidney failure would cost the NHS millions of pounds.
“To reduce the risk it is important to keep your blood glucose and blood pressure within target range, aim for a healthy weight and, if you smoke, to seek help to quit,”added the spokesman.
For more details visit www.diabetes.org.uk/15-essentials