Patient stories

There are just as many stories of diabetes as there are people living with the condition. Here you will find four video stories with tools that give an insight into some of the barriers and needs experienced by people with diabetes. You can learn about:


Dolores Reisner, type 2 diabetes, US
Meet Dolores who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes when she was 50 years old. A major factor in Dolores’ life has been learning to deal with her stress. But in the last couple of years, she has gained a better understanding of herself and has learned to say ‘no’. Today, she de-stresses with her new hobby, making quilts, which is her recipe for total relaxation.

Psychological support: Diabetes-related emotional distress is common – over 40% of patients reported poor psychological wellbeing as part of the DAWN study. Get inspired by the self-help coping programme.


Gerald Garwood, type 2 diabetes, South Africa
This video is about Gerald, a freight ship captain, who in his job is used to take a huge responsibility. When diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, Gerald was forced to take responsibility for his health and accept the changes he was bound to make in his life. At first he felt it difficult to loose his freedom of choice. But he has now realised and accepted that with a little loss of freedom choice comes longevity.

Communication: The patient and the care team needs to work together to identify, explore and address psychosocial barriers to start insulin therapy. Try the insulin dialogue toolkit.


Zandile Mzayfani, type 2 diabetes, South Africa
Meet Zandille who was once depressed and frustrated about taking medication. Today she has accepted that she has diabetes and has taken control of her lifestyle and her treatment routines. Thanks to her acceptance, she is feeling the benefits in her business as well as in her body.

Self-management: The DAWN findings confirms the importance of self-management for improving outcomes. Try out the tools on self-management.


Keenan Hendrickse, type 1 diabetes, South Africa
Meet Keenan who at the age of thirteen was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and became forced to take his life into his own hands. Thanks to the support from his family and friends, he has changed his lifestyle and has learned to accept diabetes as a part of his life.

Family & friends: Patients have certain needs to be able to cope with their condition and live a full, healthy and productive life. Try out the tools for family & friends.




Eric and Daniella Beswick, type 1 diabetes, South Africa 
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. Eric has type 1 diabetes.





Amy Green, type 1 diabetes, US 
Meet Amy who has always been able to rely on the support from her family. It was this support that kept her going when she was first diagnosed at the age of 14. Amy has chosen to tell everybody around her that she has diabetes so people know how to react and can recognise the signs of hypoglycaemia.





Katie Norten, type 1 diabetes, US 
Meet Katie who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 13. From that moment onwards, her life has taken on a different complexion. On a daily basis, Katie needs to remember to exercise, to eat well, to check her blood sugar levels and to give insulin. But Katie is not going to be stopped by diabetes.





Jaya Prakash, type 2 diabetes, US
Meet Jaya who applies lot self-discipline to his type 2 diabetes management. Jaya’s approach to managing his diabetes is an inspiration to those around him. Not only to his family – who see his determination as an inspiration, but also to the many new patients he mentors.