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Eric and Daniella Beswick - Type 1 diabetes - South Africa (04:28)

Eric was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a toddler. His family took great care of him, sterilising the old-fashioned and painful stainless steel syringes and injecting his insulin. They raised him to be independent in managing his treatment, as he had to live with diabetes the rest of his life.

Today, Eric has witnessed many changes in diabetes care. Not only the replacement of syringes with convenient pens, but also the guidelines on how to live. “As a child, I couldn’t have any of the very tasty South African milk tarts, but today I can.”
Eric does not feel that diabetes has restricted him in any way. He left home, studied, got a good job and got married. He became well adjusted to managing his condition, although even then he was concerned about the other ways that diabetes might continue to affect his life.

“I had a feeling that diabetes is genetic. My grandfather died of diabetes and I felt that if I had children, they would get it too.”
A few weeks before his daughter Daniella’s third birthday, she started drinking enormous amounts of water and visiting the toilet frequently. The first thing on Eric’s mind was diabetes, and a visit to the family doctor confirmed his fear.

“We were both very upset. My wife and I were both crying,” he remembers. “But within a day or two, we realised that we just had to accept it and move on.”

Eric is grateful that modern diabetes treatments and his own experiences have made having a child with diabetes easier, even if the feeling of guilt still lingers. “I have done everything I wanted to do in life. I hope, and I’m pretty sure, that it will be the same for Daniella.”

Eric Beswick
South Africa
Eric has type 1 diabetes

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