Father and daughter celebrate diabetes victory

When Barrie Lancaster, from York was awarded with a Kellion Victory Medal to celebrate living with diabetes for fifty years, his daughter Kim Edwards was particularly proud – and is hoping to receive one herself one day.

Seventy-nine year old Barrie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 28 years old.

Several years later his daughter Kim was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, at age twelve.

“I was scared, angry and sad because I loved lollies and I knew that diabetes meant I would have to

be very disciplined with my diet,” Ms Edwards said.

“Dad was devastated because he believed it was his fault.

“He wrote me a lovely letter explaining that living with diabetes is not the end of the world.”

Barrie started looking after himself more carefully, to set a good example for Kim, and the pair attended appointments with diabetes educators and endocrinologists together.

“We were always very close, but the experience of diabetes brought us even closer,” Ms Edwards said. 

“Only someone with diabetes really understands what it’s like to live with the condition.”

Over the years they have both enjoyed the care and support of Helen Lancaster, Barrie’s wife and Kim’s mother.

Helen said she was proud to receive a Carer’s Award as part of the Kellion Victory Medal presentations.

While Kim has the latest diabetes technology – a continuous glucose monitor and insulin pump – Barrie has continued with the traditional methods of finger pricks and insulin injections to manage his diabetes.

He is philosophical about his achievement of fifty years with diabetes.

“I just take one day at a time, follow the rules and do my best”, Mr Lancaster said.

Kim is upbeat about the impact of diabetes on her life.

“It makes you healthier and more health-conscious, because you have to be”, Ms Edwards said said.

Diabetes WA presented six Kellion Victory Medals on Wednesday 11 July;

70 years: Joan Ware

60 years: Ann Morris

50 years: Barrie Lancaster, Raymond Dennison, Tracy Copes, Felicity Ranger.