People with Diabetes
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Born in Stockton-on-Tees in 1928.
Diagnosed Type 1 in Yarm, North Yorks in 1939

Overview: Margaret Williamson was brought up in a village in North Yorkshire, the only daughter of an industrial chemist. Her mother was diagnosed with diabetes when Margaret was aged 2, and put on a diet of no carbohydrate with high quantities of insulin. When Margaret was diagnosed, a Newcastle consultant, James Spence, put mother and daughter on a more modern regime of high carbohydrate, which was weighed at each meal. After school, she went to business college in London, and worked as a secretary for directors of scientific institutions. She married a Cambridge research scientist and had two children.

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People with Diabetes 
More than 50 people with diabetes, diagnosed between 1927 and 2007, talk about how diabetes has affected – or not affected – their work, family life and friendships. They describe their encounters with the health service and with individual healthcare professionals and reflect on their experiences of changes in treatment and technology.

Together these interviews cover a crucial period in the history of diabetes - between the beginning of insulin treatment in 1923 and 21st century techniques that offer hope of a cure. They also cover a crucial period in the history of healthcare in the UK - before and after the 1948 creation of the National Health Service, which offered free care to everyone ‘from the cradle to the grave’.

The earliest memories of the period are provided by people whose (Type 1) diabetes was diagnosed when they were children, but there are also accounts by people whose (Type 2) diabetes was diagnosed in more recent decades.

In addition, there are interviews with 50 more people who cared for those with diabetes during the same period, including family members and healthcare professionals.
 
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