Fife mum’s award after vowing to campaign for daughter with diabetes

© SuppliedCaroline Held (left) with Angela Mitchell, Diabetes Scotland national director. 
Credit: Ian Jacobs
Caroline Held (left) with Angela Mitchell, Diabetes Scotland national director. Credit: Ian Jacobs

A mother who pledged to break down barriers for her daughter when she was diagnosed with diabetes has won an award for campaigning.

Caroline Held, from Dunfermline, fights to ensure children like daughter Rubyann, 11, are supported at school and have access to equipment.

She won Diabetes Scotland’s campaigning and influencing Inspire Award.

Since Rubyann was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes three years ago Caroline has become a font of knowledge on the condition and relevant legislation.

She is also an administrator of a number of online support forums for people living with diabetes and is quick to respond to those seeking assistance and information.

Caroline said: “It is an honour to be recognised for helping people affected by diabetes.

“When Rubyann was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes it was a huge shock and traumatic for all the family.

“With no time to process this life-changing diagnosis, we had to quickly learn how to manage diabetes from carb-counting food to dosing insulin, testing blood and giving injections.

“It was difficult to come to terms with the fact that there is no cure for type 1 diabetes and Rubyann will have it for life.

“I made Rubyann a promise that I would do everything I could to make it easier for her.

“Learning to manage the condition was difficult enough but what I found unacceptable is the additional issues that arise such as dealing with stigma and discrimination, issues with schools, having to fight for access to medical equipment and the effect the condition has on mental health.

“I don’t want my daughter or anyone else living with diabetes to have to face any more challenges than necessary and that’s what motivates me to campaign for improved care and support.”

Diabetes is a condition in which there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly.

People with type 1 diabetes, which is unrelated to diet and lifestyle, need daily doses of insulin, either by injection or pump, and a healthy diet.

Caroline and husband Carlton were also nominated for an award for supporting others in recognition of their work with the Fife Type 1 Warriors family support group in Fife.

Angela Mitchell, national director of Diabetes Scotland, said: “Caroline is an extremely committed volunteer who is passionate about raising awareness of diabetes and campaigning for improved care and services.

“She and her husband Carlton are a great support to many families and people living with diabetes in Fife and beyond.”