Re­mov­ing stigma the sugar on top

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion - By CAITLIN TILLER

WESTERN War­rior Matt Dixon says af­ter 13 years, he still has to ex­plain that un­healthy foods and sugar did not cause his type one di­a­betes.

The 23-year-old said he had to move past the stigma sur­round­ing the dis­ease.

“My mates still seem to get onto me af­ter 13 years of hav­ing di­a­betes and I con­stantly ex­plain to them I could have been the health­i­est per­son in the world; even­tu­ally I was go­ing to get di­a­betes,” Dixon said.

A Di­a­betes WA am­bas­sador and Western War­rior since 2010, Dixon said there was no rea­son why di­a­betes should hold peo­ple back.

“I don’t think di­a­betes has af­fected my sport­ing ca­reer too much; I think along the way it’s pro­vided the odd has­sle and been a lit­tle an­noy­ing but it’s also helped me be­cause I’ve had to be a bit strict with my diet, which has helped keep me in shape,” he said.

Dixon said a kids’ camp he had been to in July this year had been a high­light of his role as an am­bas­sador and given him a lot of sat­is­fac­tion.

“It was a chance to take con­trol of their di­a­betes for the first time; it was great see­ing kids come out of their shells and take re­spon­si­bil­ity.”

Ahead of World Di­a­betes Day on Novem­ber 14, Su­bi­a­cobased Di­a­betes WA filmed a video to share the sto­ries of di­a­bet­ics and what they wished peo­ple knew.

Di­a­betes WA chief ex­ec­u­tive An­drew Wagstaff said there was a per­cep­tion in the wider com­mu­nity about what a di­a­betic looked like and ex­pe­ri­enced.

“This per­cep­tion is of­ten far from the truth so this World Di­a­betes Day we de­cided to fo­cus on the sto­ries of peo­ple who live with or are af­fected by di­a­betes,” Mr Wagstaff said.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d445661

WA cricketer and di­a­betic Matt Dixon.

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