The Only Competition Diabetes Short Film

Football in the UK is known as soccer in the US.

This is a 2 minute short film. Scroll to the bottom of the page to view the short film.


short film ‘the only competition’ highlights how you can thrive with type 1 diabetes


Emmanuel West in The Only Competition

Two brothers join forces to create a poignant glimpse into life with diabetes.

Watch the full film: The Only Competition Film from Chris West on Vimeo.

Twenty-five-year-old Emmanuel West has faced many challenges managing his condition since he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a small child, including spells in hospital and missing out on some opportunities because of illness.

But the earliest memory he has of living with diabetes is of the point of diagnosis at the age of three and a half when he was taken to hospital and separated from his parents while doctors investigated what was making him so Ill.

Emmanuel, who lives in East London, says:

“I went unconscious, and when I woke up my mum and dad weren’t there. I was in the Royal London Hospital and while I don’t remember being Ill beforehand, I do remember that feeling of being unconscious and alone in the hospital.”

Armed with the diagnosis and once back home, Emmanuel’s parents took charge of his insulin regime for a while but by the time he went to primary school Emmanuel was handling his injections.

His tenaciousness and wish for independence stood him in good stead through the school years, not least because he changed schools multiple times and also attended two different colleges. He says:

“It’s been a struggle at times. Diabetes is hard to stabilise and if, for example, when I have a virus,  my sugar levels go all over the place. I’m quite a reserved person so although I’m open about my condition when I have to be – with teachers or my employer, etc – I do try to keep it a little bit private as well.

“Early on, I realised that physical activity helped me and for many years I was dedicated to sport with football as my passion.”

Emmanuel’s footballing talents attracted the attention of football club scouts but unfortunately, he was unable to make a key trial date because he was ill or injured.

Again, Emmanuel needed to show strength of character to put the disappointment behind him and in recent years he has found fulfilment in his work as a Building Surveyor and he is currently also studying at University to become a Chartered Surveyor.

Emmanuel is the youngest of six children. His elder brother, Chris, a filmmaker residing in East London, has crafted a compelling short film titled ‘The Only Competition.’ This powerful film offers a poignant glimpse into life with diabetes.

The brothers are hoping that Emmanuel’s story in the video will help show other children, teenagers, and young adults that you can have diabetes, have a busy life, and still thrive.