Sixty years after he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes,
Samford's Garun Snow received a medal to mark the
Garun Snow accepts his 60 year Kellion Victory Medal
from Dr Alan Stocks AM of the Kellion Diabetes
"I was diagnosed in 1959 and spent two months in hospital before
being allowed home for my sixth birthday," said Garun.
"I wasn't allowed to go to school so studied by correspondence
with my late Mum. After I passed Grades 1 and 2 with flying
colours, they finally let me head off to primary school.
When Diabetes Queensland (formerly known as the Diabetic
Association of Queensland) was formed in 1968, Garun's Dad joined
him up as a life member.
"I went to the first children's camp they
ever held and some of the people I met there are still my friends
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that destroys insulin
producing cells in the pancreas. Unlike type 2 diabetes, the onset
of type 1 cannot be predicted or slowed through treatment, diet or
exercise. Nearly 23,000 Queenslanders have type 1 diabetes and must
inject synthetic insulin several times a day.
A challenge for people living with type 1 diabetes is finding
the delicate balance between the danger of a coma caused by
hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose, or hypo) on one hand and the
deadly risk of diabetic ketoacidosis, caused by hyperglycaemia
(high blood glucose), on the other.
Garun Snow and Dr Brian Hirschfeld at the
2019 Kellion Victory Medal event
Garun celebrated his 60th anniversary of living with type 1
diabetes at a special morning tea for Kellion Victory Medal
recipients, hosted by Diabetes Queensland on Sunday 14 July to mark
the beginning of National Diabetes Week.
The medals were presented by Dr Alan Stocks AM of the Kellion
Diabetes Foundation, who supplied Garun with his first blood
Over the years, Garun has played a huge role in Diabetes
Queensland as a children's camp director for 25 years and also
serving as a member of the Board.
Garun said, "When you live with diabetes for 60 years, highs,
lows and injections become part of your everyday life.
"But it's been a great life and one hell of a journey. I'd like
to thank my lovely wife Meryl for putting up with me all these
years," he said.