THE BLOG

Neither Sky Nor Diabetes Presents Limits for This Newsreader

17/06/2015 17:36 BST | Updated 17/06/2016 10:59 BST

Presenting on a breakfast news show definitely keeps you focused. The other week we were reporting on the Sepp Blatter Fifa scandal and minutes later I interviewed Maggie Philbin, whom I'd grown up watching on Swap Shop, about postcards. There's rarely a dull moment.

In the 15 years I've worked for Sky News, I've covered the 7/7 bombings, Alex Crawford's march into Tripoli with the rebel forces, the terrorist attack on Glasgow airport, four World Cups and four General Elections.

I've learnt to deal with surprises from the age of 17, just ahead of my English A levels. After an awful lot of weight loss and a period of extreme thirst, the GP diagnosed me with Type 1 diabetes before he had even sat down. They gave me syringes and made me take my first injection of insulin, which helps me keep my blood glucose levels about right, in front of them, telling me to use it like a dagger - all very Macbeth. That was another interesting day.

I have had a few hypos (these are caused by your blood glucose levels dropping too low, resulting in hypoglycaemia) on air which is a different kind of interesting. But I'm not one of those people who panics and I am confident in knowing how to manage my condition when this happens. Being on live TV is extra motivation to make sure you know how to manage it. Live news shares the same rule as the theatre - the show must go on. Until fairly recently, I don't think Sky even knew I had diabetes but now they're fully supportive.

When the subject comes up, I always talk about my condition on air. This is because, whenever I do, I always get a great deal of feedback. I always make the point of writing and ringing and even visiting families and it's nice for them to feel like they're not on their own. Being diagnosed with diabetes can be a frightening time and you can feel isolated. It's really rewarding to get feedback. In a way, it feels better than covering a big story as nothing beats a personal connection. A family called The Busbys wrote to me saying that their son had stuck up a signed photo I'd sent in his diabetes cupboard.

I get out of bed when I'm working on Sunrise at three in the morning and that can play havoc with your blood glucose levels as it can throw your routine off kilter. But it's a price worth paying because as long as you can keep to a routine, then you have a lot of fun.

I'm not embarrassed that I have diabetes because it's part of who I am. But managing the condition can feel tough and overwhelming, and different people need different sorts of care and support. And it's so important people get the support they need as poorly managed diabetes can lead to serious complications including blindness, amputation and stroke. That's why it's so helpful people can access a wide range of education and support through Diabetes UK, from free Living with Diabetes Days, to online tools, to events for young people with Type 1 diabetes, helping people to learn more about how to manage their condition, whatever stage of life they're at.

The focus for Diabetes Week 2015 is raising awareness of the range of support and education opportunities available to people with diabetes so that everyone with diabetes can look after themselves.

New figures published reveal that 3.9 million people are now living with diabetes, and, if nothing changes, it is projected that this number will rise to five million by 2025. There's an urgent need to make sure that everyone with diabetes gets the support they need - both to reduce their chances of suffering devastating health complications and to save the NHS budget, which is already under enormous strain, from avoidable costs. That's why I'm glad organisations like Diabetes UK are around to keep diabetes so prominently on the health agenda.

My philosophy was to make my diabetes my friend, and not to fight it but to understand it. The more you understand your diabetes, the more effectively you can control it.

With a bit of pre-planning, you can do anything.

Diabetes Week runs from 14 - 20 June. Join the conversation on Twitter by sharing your hints, tips and stories of living life to the full with diabetes, using the hashtag #DiabetesAndMe.

Find out more at diabetes.org.uk/diabetesweek.