Point Cook woman Suzanne Borello has been recognised for her achievement in living with type-one diabetes for 50 years.
Mrs Borello was presented with the Kellion Victory Medal – named in honour of the late Claude Kellion AM, a Sydney businessman who established a foundation to promote diabetes research after his son died from diabetes complications – by Diabetes Victoria earlier this month.
Mrs Borello’s husband Anthony was also recognised for being her carer for more than 40 years.
Mrs Borello was nine years old when she was diagnosed with type-one diabetes. She said that type-one diabetes is something people are born with, whereas type-two diabetes usually develops due to a person’s lifestyle.
“Having diabetes, it’s an everyday thing, you can’t forget you’ve got it – you can’t have a day off,” she said.
“You’ve got to test your blood sugar at least four times a day, maybe more, adjust your insulin and watch what you eat.”
Mrs Borello said that medical technology surrounding diabetes had “changed a lot” since she was first diagnosed – when she was a child, diabetics had to test their urine to see how much sugar was in it, nowadays, blood testing is more accurate.
She said that her attitude was to “always look on the bright side of life” and “never let diabetes get the better of you”.
Although diabetes is often hereditary, Mrs Borello’s two adult children and three grandchildren have not been diagnosed with the illness.