THE year was 1960. Saturday, January 15 to be exact. Gympie’s Isabelle Butler remembers it well.
“It was the day I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and it changed my life forever,” Mrs Butler told The Gympie Times yesterday.
“You have a normal childhood up till then, and then it’s needles every day and no lollies.”
No lollies, no cakes, no chocolate and no ice-cream was hard to accept when you were only 12 years old, she reflected.
Some 50 years later, Mrs Butler has not only learnt to accept her condition, she has triumphed over it.
In recognition of the half-century milestone, Diabetes Australia presented her with a Kellion Victory Medal at an award ceremony last month.
Since 1984, Diabetes Australia has been working with its patron, Dr Alan Stocks, to recognise and commemorate Australians who have survived with diabetes for 50, 60 and 70 years.
Throughout the years, Mrs Butler has seen many improvements in the way diabetes is diagnosed and managed.
After living with the condition for 50 years, she admitted to feeling “like a dinosaur because so much has changed”.
“Imagine today, having to heat Benedict’s solution and urine at the stove while the family ate just a few feet away.
“My first blood testing kit was almost as big as a shoe box and it took over a minute to get the results.
“My latest machine is half the size of the palm of my hand and I get results in five seconds.”
Mrs Butler’s husband Keith also received recognition; a Kellion Carer’s Award. This award recognises the many years of love, dedication and support carers give to ensure their loved ones live a satisfying life.
For more information go to www.diabetesqueensland.org.au.