During National Diabetes Week, Diabetes WA celebrated Western Australians who have lived with type 1 diabetes for 50 years or more.
50 years ago, an eight-year-old Peter Green was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. His mum was a trained nurse and knew their lives would change forever.
“Mum was a Godsend and as a family, we learnt to live with diabetes” says Peter. “Even the family dog, Becky the boxer (who slept in my room) knew when something was up, as she would sit at my bedroom door and bark until Mum and Dad came to treat my hypo.”
This family support proved to be vital for the Green family. Approximately eight years later, whilst on holidays in the Philippines, Peter’s older sister Jan was showing early signs for type 1 diabetes.
“I was shocked and concerned but luckily luckily our family doctor was travelling with us and was able to get us home and Jan to treatment.”
However, Eileen, Peter’s mother, was overwhelmed by having two children living with type 1 diabetes. What was she to do having two children diagnosed with this relentless condition?
“Our lives became quite regimented at first, but as we settled into the new regimes we learnt to relax more,” she says, “I had a wonderful husband and Peter and Jan had a loving and understanding father who was always there in their time of need.’
Peter strongly believes that his family support, including the love and support from his mother and his wife, Sandra, encouraged him not to let diabetes and complications rule his life.
Eileen and Sandra both received Kellion Victory Carers Awards for the support they have given Peter through the years.
Kellion Victory Medals, are presented to people who have lived with diabetes for 50 years or more. As diabetes can affect the whole family, there is also the Kellion Carers award for those people who support their loved ones living with diabetes to live full, happy and healthy lives.