Updated 02 February 2017

Young diabetes patients speak out

Talk to young diabetics and it soon becomes clear that the disease requires a lot more than just physical adjustments..


Talk to young diabetics and it soon becomes clear that the disease requires a lot more than just physical adjustments. Children often feel isolated and rejected by their peers.

BY Ilse Salzwedel for YOU Pulse magazine

Ryno du Toit (6) 
From Pretoria
"The worst is that I can't just eat anything at parties. Special food must always be provided for me."

Megan Swanepoel (9) 
From Johannesburg
"The children tease me," she tells us, her chest heaving with sobs.

Brandon Swanepoel (12)
Her brother
"Since I started using an insulin pump and don't need to inject myself so regularly, the other children have started to accept me."

Rachel Lombaard (11)
From Durban
"The worst is that I have to inject myself six or eight times a day. The children at school tease me when I feel bad or get nauseous and start shivering." When she began using a diabetic pump the children tried to grab it from her because they thought it was an iPod.

(This is an extract from an article that originally appeared in YOU Pulse / Huisgenoot-POLS magazine, Summer 2007. The current edition is on sale now.)


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Diabetes expert

Dr. May currently works as a fulltime endocrinologist and has been in private practice since 2004. He has a variety of interests, predominantly obesity and diabetes, but also sees patients with osteoporosis, thyroid disorders, men's health disorders, pituitary and adrenal disorders, polycystic ovaries, and disorders of growth. He is a leading member of several obesity and diabetes societies and runs a trial centre for new drugs.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules