When you get your diagnosis you have so many questions that your GP can’t always answer. Richard Charles, 65, from Bristol I was diagnosed with diabetes in 2015. My doctor had some concerns about my liverafter my diabetes diagnosis and sent me off for blood tests. When these came back,I was told I had haemochromatosis. I had never heard of the condition before andwas surprised that so little information was given to me. After doing a little bit ofresearch, some of my health issues - like my hip replacements at a young age, andmy diabetes - started to fall into place. My adult children were given letters to take to their GP to arrange blood tests forhaemochromatosis, but this proved easier said than done. Both of my children foundit very difficult to access testing through their GP. My wife, Karen, also discoveredthat she was a carrier of haemochromatosis, which made it even more important forour children to get tested. I had joined Haemochromatosis UK after my diagnosis as I wanted to find out moreabout the condition and help others with it too. Through my membership, I becameaware that the charity offered subsidised genetic testing for friends and family. Weordered tests for our relatives. They came really quickly and the results were back inweeks. The service was excellent. You’re offered a follow-up call as part of the testing service, which is extremelyhelpful. When you get your diagnosis you have so many questions that your GP can’talways answer. The people at the charity we all spoke to were extremely helpful andknowledgeable. It’s also helped us to be able to inform our wider family about theiroptions to try and help them avoid the problems I had. The results went through to the GP as well, which I think is important to raiseawareness of haemochromatosis as so many doctors aren’t familiar with it,unfortunately. This type of genetic testing is essential so that people can get theirdiagnosis sooner, get proper treatment and don’t experience the long-term effectsof unmanaged haemochromatosis.