TWO Greater Bendigo residents have received awards for living with diabetes for more than 50 years.
Kangaroo Flat woman Peg Kearin and Golden Square man Jack Eadie were presented with medals by Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria Marilyn Warren at Government House.
The medal, named in honour of the late Claude Kellion, a businessman who formed a foundation to promote diabetes research after his son died.
The duo was among 30 Victorians who also defied the odds and lived with the either type 1 or type 2 diabetes for more than 50 years.
Ms Kearin has lived with diabetes for 50 years.
She was a trained nurse when she began showing symptoms.
Ms Kearin said she recommends anyone with diabetes to learn as much as possible about the disease.
“Join a local support group so you can meet others with diabetes, to exchange ideas and experiences,” she said.
“Never let diabetes stop you from experiencing life.”
Mr Eadie was presented with a 60-year medal at the awards ceremony.
He says before he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 22 he always felt tired, thirsty and breathless.
“There are no real holidays in life with diabetes,” he said.
Mr Eadie said when he was first diagnosed with diabetes there wasn’t any research or hope for a cure.
Sixty years on, he says he has been able to live a full, happy and useful life.
“Diabetes is a condition, not a sentence,” Mr Eadie said.
Diabetes Australia Victoria chief executive Craig Bennett said medal recipients were an inspiration to others living with diabetes.
“People who have lived with diabetes for over 50 years deserve our utmost respect and admiration,” he said.
“We all can learn a lot from their determination and attitude towards living well with diabetes.”
For more information about diabetes visit www.diabetesaustralia.com.au