Garun marks 60 years of living with diabetes

Sixty years after he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, Samford’s Garun Snow received a medal to mark the occasion.



Garun Snow accepts his 60 year Kellion Victory Medal from Dr Alan Stocks AM of the Kellion Diabetes Foundation

“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 today”

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 glucose meter.

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.

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