Rocky diabetic awarded Kellion Victory Medal in celebrations

LIVING LIFE: Doug Simpson with his award for living with type 1 diabetes for 50 years.
LIVING LIFE: Doug Simpson with his award for living with type 1 diabetes for 50 years. Allan Reinikka Rokadiabete

LIFE with type 1 diabetes is all about living, according to Rockhampton's Douglas Simpson.

Mr Simpson was one of 10 Queenslanders recently awarded the Kellion Victory Medal as part of World Diabetes Day celebrations.

The award marks a huge personal triumph, living a healthy and active 50 years with Type 1 diabetes.

Unlike the lifestyle disease, Type 2 diabetes, Type 1or juvenile diabetes cannot be prevented or delayed.

"When I was told I had to have insulin injections I refused, saying, 'I do not take drugs', but now I say thank heavens for insulin," he said.

"Stress is the hardest single hurdle to overcome."

Mr Simpson said he received excellent medical attention at the Rockhampton Hospital and Wesley Hospital in Brisbane and continues to enjoy life and the world.

He said the key was to live life as normally as possible.

"Do things; don't sit in an armchair watching TV," he said.

"Being a diabetic, you're forced into governing your lifestyle and trying to do the right thing. I'm still here at 71 and still playing bowls. I even won the veterans singles title."

At 20 years old, Mr Simpson was given three years to live and couldn't walk for eight months.

The reason was never correctly diagnosed, but the doctors were wrong.

"I've enjoyed my life," he said.

"I'm in reasonably good health... a lot of people can't do the things they used to, even without diabetes.

"But you need to interact with other people or you'll bring yourself down. Keep interested and doing things."

CEO of Diabetes Queensland, Michelle Trute, said living for 50 years with diabetes, the Kellion Victory Medal recipients reminded everyone that despite the constant struggle to manage blood glucose levels, the result could still be a long and productive life.

"The Kellions are heroes in the diabetes community," she said.

"Their battle to survive and live a full life inspires Diabetes Queensland to keep seeking improvements in the early detection, diagnosis and management of diabetes in the community."


Obesity and eating too much sugar are major triggers for Type 2 diabetes but have no relation to Type 1, which is unpreventable and incurable.

Topics:  diabetes diabetic world diabetes day

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Be the first to see controversial animated children's film

FURRY FRIENDS: Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki), Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Benjamin, Bea (Rose Byrne), Peter Rabbit (James Corden) and Cottontail (Daisy Ridley) in Columbia Pictures' PETER RABBIT.

Advanced screening of Peter Rabbit in Lismore this weekend

Rosanna has designs on female taboo

Artist Rosanna Pimm uses 3500 porcelain tampons to created her large scale performance installation  Riots of Passage in The Quad  as part of The Lismore Women's Festival on International Women's Day. Laying down and de-constructing the mandala structure symbolises the impermanence of the menstrual cycle and an end to female inequality in the world.

Rosanna has designs on female taboo

Another win for city's calender

NO PROBLEM: Eat The Street.

Another win for city's calender

Local Partners