Dis­ease never goes away

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health - By GIO­VANNI TORRE

CITY Beach res­i­dent Peter Kerr, the new chair­man of the board of Di­a­betes Re­search WA, counts him­self lucky he was di­ag­nosed with type 1 di­a­betes at the age of 17 rather than as a young child.

Mr Kerr said the auto-im­mune con­di­tion posed a life­long chal­lenge to any­one who de­vel­oped it.

“I was rel­a­tively lucky that I was older, be­ing di­ag­nosed just af­ter my fi­nal school ex­ams, and have had won­der­ful fam­ily sup­port in be­ing able to man­age it with­out too much fuss,” he said.

“But it’s so much harder when it shows up in younger kids.”

In ad­di­tion to chair­ing the board of Di­a­betes Re­search WA, a peak di­a­betes re­search fund­ing group based at Royal Perth Hospi­tal and fo­cused on the search for a cure, Mr Kerr is a fa­ther of three and the chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer at Mt Gib­son Iron.

He in­jects in­sulin sev­eral times a day to man­age his con­di­tion.

“Type 1 di­a­betes never goes away – you have to think about it 24/7 and the re­al­ity is that it can cause sig­nif­i­cant health com­pli­ca­tions both now and later in life, so con­stant man­age­ment is crit­i­cal,” he said.

“For par­ents of chil­dren with type 1 di­a­betes there are many con­cerns, be­cause if blood glu­cose levels get too high or low it can be po­ten­tially life-threat­en­ing, so send­ing them to school or friends’ houses or even play­ing sport can be quite wor­ry­ing.”

Mr Kerr will share his story on Thurs­day, July 13, at Di­a­betes Re­search WA’S 2017 Na­tional Di­a­betes Week evening sem­i­nar in Wem­b­ley.

To re­serve a free spot at the event, email info@ di­a­betes­re­searchwa.com.au or call 9224 1006 by Thurs­day, July 6.

Pic­ture Gio­vanni Torre

Peter, James, Kate, Emma and Sara Kerr.

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