Brian shares his story this Diabetes Week

12 June 2018 12:00

This week at Blind Veterans UK we are marking Diabetes Week. Many of our blind veterans suffer from diabetic retinopathy, but with the help of our support they are able to still lead independent lives. One of these veterans is Brian.

Brian was just 17 and a half years old when he joined the British Army in 1948 as part of the Royal Tank Regiment. 

Brian taking part in a remembrance event

During his Service he worked as a steam engine stoker before passing the rigorous training to join the Royal Marines. He spent more than a decade in the Army during which time he saw service in Malta, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia, before he was demobbed in 1959. 

Brian went on to become an HGV driver, a career he was to enjoy for 16 years before his life changed forever when, following a routine appointment with his doctor to  renew his HGV license, Brian was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. 

As a result of the diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes, Brian’s eyesight started to deteriorate. He was no longer able to work as an HGV driver and due to his sight loss he started to lose his independence.

Fortunately, Brian was put in contact with Blind Veterans UK through a specialist eye clinic. With our help, Brian has discovered life beyond sight loss and to this day maintains a very active lifestyle which includes hiking expeditions with fellow blind veterans.

Brian says:

"I am only here today doing the things I do because of Blind Veterans UK. I have a lot to be thankful for as so much has been done for me"

Brian has loved meeting fellow veterans and thanks the charity for allowing him to regain his independence by assisting him with essential life skills and support.

"Blind Veterans UK helped me regain my independence and has helped me survive. They have a special place in my heart"

 If you are a blind veteran who has lost their sight to diabetes or perhaps know a loved one who could be eligible for our support, please get in touch.