Richard’s story

Published: September 17 2022
Last updated: September 28 2022

Richard talks of the stigma he has faced

It all started back at Christmas 1959, when I was diagnosed with diabetes Type1, soon after a tonsil operation that didn’t go to plan. I was only 9 years old, and the social and mental restrictions I had to face were severe. About 2 years later I found myself having these uncomfortable pads stuck on my head, though I was not told why.

I was later told I had epilepsy. The consultant, to my anger, added that there would always be a place for me in the local mental home, which had a terrible reputation, rather like having a one-way ticket to hell. I resolved to prove that I was as good as anyone else, epileptic or not.

Over the years I have had hard times, though I was lucky in some respects because my seizures were mainly at night, but as I learned to control my diabetes better, this reduced my chances of seizures. Today, against the odds, I have proved myself worthy enough to be treated as a good human being, not an animal, as some have tried to do.

I am even proud to say that I have become the a Short Mat Bowling Director and International Umpire. May this be an inspiration to all who feel they can do nothing with their lives. It takes a lot of true grit and resourcefulness, but with the right help and support then you too can make a name for yourself.

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