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Hatton Vale woman battles disease for 60 years

SURVIVOR: Nevis Smith marked more than 60 years living with Type 1 diabetes last week during a special ceremony in Toowoomba where she was presented with the 50-year and 60-year Kellion Victory Medals by Dr Alan Stocks AM.
SURVIVOR: Nevis Smith marked more than 60 years living with Type 1 diabetes last week during a special ceremony in Toowoomba where she was presented with the 50-year and 60-year Kellion Victory Medals by Dr Alan Stocks AM. Contributed

For more than 60 years, one Hatton Vale woman has been caught up in an ongoing fight for her life.

It's a fight many are cast into from a young age, and one for which there is no cure.

Nevis Smith was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as an infant at 18 months old, and proudly marked more than 60 years living with Type 1 diabetes last week during a special ceremony held in Toowoomba.

Mrs Smith was presented with the 50-year and 60-year Kellion Victory Medals by Dr Alan Stocks, founder of the awards.

Mrs Smith said she was lucky to have endured with the disease which so many people struggle to live with.

"It felt pretty special," Mrs Smith said.

"It's very difficult to live this long with Type 1 diabetes and there are a lot of people that die from it.

"It's called 'dead in bed' syndrome where people die in their sleep because their blood sugars go too low and there's nobody around to help.

"I'm very lucky to have got this far."

Mrs Smith said living with Type 1 diabetes had not been an easy journey.

"It has its ups-and-downs and now it's just part of life," she said.

"In the early days I spent a lot of time in hospital being put into a coma.

"Back then it was very difficult and there weren't any home tests.

"But now you can test yourself at home.

"It's kind of amazing to me that I've survived."

Mrs Smith encouraged those who were diagnosed with the disease to persist and get the right facts.

"It's not the end of the world," she said.

"Diabetes is not just what medication you need, it's managing carbohydrates, needing to see a dietician, foot care and diabetes education - there is a lot of people involved in keeping you alive."

Topics:  hatton vale type 1 diabetes


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