John Jerrard, 78, has dedicated much of his life to giving the
very best support, advice and care to our diabetes community.
Now living in Ormiston on the Bay south of Brisbane, the retired
pharmacist has seen a great deal of change in diabetes treatment
since he bought a pharmacy in the early 1970s.
"I purchased Huxham's Pharmacy at the Grange in 1971 and
developed type 1 diabetes in 1972," says John.
"My introduction to insulin and stabilisation took about ten
days in hospital, and I was discharged on a once daily dose of
Soluble and PZI insulins.
"It was very restrictive, with a daily rigid routine of diet and
activity. We could only do urine testing and I experienced frequent
At the urging of John's wife, Joan, he consulted Dr Alan Stocks
"At Dr Stocks' advice, I switched to pork insulins Isophane and
Regular, and four injections daily. My body felt the improvements
In 1978, Alan was importing Glucochek B.G. monitors from the
United Kingdom and passing them on at cost price to interested
"In my opinion, these monitors were the most important
advancement in diabetes management since the discovery of insulin,"
"Dr Stocks mentioned that he was not really into the business of
importing and distribution, and that a lot of patients needed help
and education. This planted the idea that we could become more
involved in diabetes management.
"My partner at Huxham's Pharmacy, Richard Harvey, and I
registered as the first 'Diabetic Care Centre' in Queensland. We
attended lectures, seminars and nurse educator courses to ensure
that any information we shared was the best possible at that
"U100 came on the scene and its impact was huge in that patients
were asked to bring in their old insulins and their current
syringes so that the present dosage could be maintained.
"The variety of reusable glass syringes and needles was amazing
and translating the dose of U40/U80 in a 2.5ml hypodermic to U100
in a 1ml limited dead space disposable took some explanation.
"Not everyone was pleased, of course, with some saying, 'I've
being doing it this way for 20 years, why do I have to change?'
"I want to express my gratitude to GPs, endocrinologists,
hospital allied staff and many pharmaceutical suppliers who aided
this most satisfying part of my career."
Still driven to support Queensland's diabetes community, John is
participating in this year's Great Ocean Road Trek in October.
Now in its fifth year, the trek covers 100km from Apollo Bay to
the 12 Apostles and raises vital funds and awareness for
John currently walks around 10km every day and will be adding in
hills and steps in preparation as October draws closer.
The terrain from day to day varies greatly on the trek, with
walking tracks through the bush, in rainforests, along the beach,
across creeks, on boardwalks and up steps.
Spectacular views and native wildlife are just some of the
highlights. But it's a tough walk; the days are around 20km each
with plenty of valleys and hills to conquer.
Participants are faced with immense physical and emotional
challenges, but the trek is made easier with accommodation,
catering, airport transfers and bus shuttles all included.
Additionally, the Great Ocean Road Trek has been improved for
2019, with detailed track notes and maps, a shortened distance on
day three and the introduction of a health professional as a
Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Ashley Baveas, is bringing her
knowledge of exercise, health and diabetes to better support
Past trekkers have described the experience as "amazing", "a
great achievement", "loved it all", "once-in-a-lifetime",
"wonderful", and of course, "challenging!"
"To any of our erstwhile clients from the clinic, can I just say
'g'day' and hope you are in good health, and if you are, why not
join me in walking this iconic Great Ocean Road Trek?" said
"It's a bucket list item of mine and I would welcome your
"Hopefully, we can raise some serious funds for the continued
research that has achieved so much to our benefit in our lifetime.
All donations are tax deductible.
"Wouldn't it be great if the leading CGM manufacturer could
donate a reader and, say, a year's supply of consumables for us to
raffle? I have no doubt it would be a winner!"
Would you like to join John on this year's trek?
Click here to download your Great Ocean Road Trek information
pack or get in touch with our fundraising team by calling 1800 177
055 or email email@example.com.