National Diabetes Week 2016 - The George/Farlow Family

Penny George, her husband Scott Farlow and their son's Christian and Collette are taking part in the ENDIA study. For National Diabetes Week, we spoke to Penny about type 1 diabetes and her thoughts on the ENDIA study so far.


1. Tell us about your family.

My name is Penny. My husband and I have two children enrolled in the study: Christian (DOB 16/10/2013) and Colette (DOB 21/11/2015). Christian is super active and is loves playing Duplo. Colette is the smiles all day long (but she is a baby so she does cry).


2. What is your connection to type 1 diabetes?

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 23-years-old. It was a total shock as, at the time, I was the only one in the family to have the condition. I now have a nephew who has it too; he was diagnosed just before his second birthday. Being diagnosed changed my life - food is a constant thing in everyone’s life so having to count carbs and give myself needles resulted in a complete change in lifestyle.


3. What do you wish people knew about type 1 diabetes?

The most common thing people say when I tell them I have type 1 diabetes is: "But you aren't fat?" So I think the most common misconception is that every person living with type 1 diabetes has type 2, and their type 1 is caused by diet and exercise. But clearly it isn’t!


4. Why did you get involved with ENDIA?

I got involved with ENDIA in 2013 when I was pregnant with my first son Christian. I got involved because I wanted to be part of solving the mystery of the possible environmental factors that trigger type 1 diabetes.


5. What has your experience with ENDIA been like?

It has been great taking part in ENDIA. The nurses and paediatricians have seen my son grow up from birth and it is nice to now have my second baby involved. I have enjoyed the peace of mind that comes with getting my kid’s blood checked every quarter - it takes away the fears I have of my kids developing type 1 having it undiagnosed.


6. Why do you support ENDIA?

It is pretty exciting to be part of a study which looks at the possible cause. After seeing my nephew diagnosed at aged two, I would like to do anything I can in order to work towards a prevention or cure for type 1 in the future.