Gary Slaymaker was told that he had developed Type 2 Diabetes on the 23rd of December, 2010. Officially, this still isn’t the worst Christmas present he’s received – a grey jumper, covered in pink elephants, given to him by his Auntie Mary. The jumper has long gone, but diabetes affects 160,000 people in Wales (5% of the population), and it can also have a great effect on those closest to them. Gary’s mother and uncle both have Type 2 Diabetes.
Gary has explored his own experiences of being Diabetic through his comedy stand-up routines, and has been surprised by audiences’ reaction to his condition. At the end of some of his shows, people who hadn’t before spoken about their struggle with Diabetes have opened up to Gary, and even said that his take on this illness, has made them feel less anxious about their own conditions; and in a couple of instances, some of his audiences have gone on to take medical advice.
The programme itself sees Gary delivering a self-contained 15 minute stand-up routine, on how he’s come to terms with being Diabetic, and is interspersed with conversations with experts in the field. He’ll be asking why we should take the condition seriously, discovering some of the life-threatening effects Diabetes can have, if it goes untreated; and separates the myth from the facts about this illness. He also meets other sufferers, including fellow comedian Trevor Williams, who refers to himself as a “poorly controlled Type 1 Diabetic”.
Although this programme can’t offer a ‘miracle cure’ for Diabetes, hopefully it will make people more aware of the condition, while providing a light-hearted take on the subject.