Blind since his late 20s and diabetic since he was seven, David Rice has had many a hurdle to jump in his life.

Now 77-year-old from Wandsworth has been awarded the John Macleod Diabetes UK medal, in recognition of his courage and perseverance of living with diabetes.

Diagnosed with the disease in 1949, he received no dietary advice and was prescribed insulin, administered once daily from a glass syringe and needle which he sterilised with boiling water.

Despite these challenges, Mr Rice worked as a switchboard operator at Wandsworth Council for 20 years, where he was a well-respected and well-liked member of the team.

Now retired, he enjoys keeping busy by making matchstick models.

Wandsworth Times:

“I’m delighted to have received this award," he said after being presented his medial from Tooting MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan.

"Reaching 70 years with diabetes has had its ups and downs but it was worth the wait and determination – I’m very stubborn.”

Mr Rice has been under the care of St George’s Hospital since 1988 and over the years has used a many a method for managing his diabetes; including urine testing, blood testing, multiple daily insulin injections and since 2009, insulin pump therapy.

Wandsworth Times:

Dr Nicola Neary, consultant in acute medicine and diabetes and endocrinology said the 77-year-old was an inspiring patient, husband, father and grandfather.

"We so admire his qualities of determination, humility, intellectual prowess and for keeping his sense of humour," she said.

"These have enabled him to take a full part in family life and put in more days work than most fully sighted people without diabetes.”

“I’d like to pay tribute to the diabetologists who’ve been involved in David’s care.

"In particular, Dr Arshia Panahloo, our care group lead. Thank you also to our specialist nurses, dieticians and all other members of the diabetes multi-disciplinary team here at St George’s.”