Aberdeen entrepreneur Jeanette Forbes has been appointed chairwoman of the Scottish development group for Type 1 diabetes charity JDRF.
Ms Forbes, the chief executive and founder of energy sector-focused information technology company PCL Group and a former Business Woman Scotland Inspirational Woman of the Year, steps up to the role after nearly three years on the group.
She said she was drawn to JDRF because of strong historical links between the City of Aberdeen and efforts to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. “I am in awe of the scientific research that is currently happening… from the artificial pancreas to beta cell replacement,” she said.
“We can all play an important part in finding the cure,” added Ms Forbes.
She had her own eyes opened to the impact of the condition after getting to know people who have to cope with endless insulin injections and the constant worry of hypos, when blood sugar glucose levels drop dangerously low.
A child diagnosed with diabetes at the age of five will be subject to more than 19,000 insulin injections and 50,000 finger prick blood tests by the time they are 18.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin producing cells in the pancreas. It is not yet known why this happens, though the condition is not linked to lifestyle.
Ms Forbes said: “Type 1 diabetes can hit anyone at any age and once it does you realise just how many people it affects, parents, teachers, babysitters, work colleagues who all have to know what to do to keep the person safe and more importantly alive.”