Diabetes Victoria Blog
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13 July 2020
This week marks National Diabetes Week 2020 and we’ve got 80 reasons to celebrate.
Every year, Diabetes Victoria hosts an award ceremony for our Kellion Victory Medal recipients during National Diabetes Week, celebrating those who have lived with diabetes for 50, 60, 70 or even more years. Due to COVID-19, we won’t be able to celebrate the usual way. Instead of our face-to-face celebration we’ve decided to dedicate our whole National Diabetes Week campaign to our 80-year recipient Anna and her fellow Kellion medallists.
When Anna Moresby was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1940, she wasn’t expected to live to see her 30th birthday. This was at a time when England had just entered World War 2, food and insulin were rationed, doctors knew little about diabetes, and medical treatments were nowhere near as advanced as they are today. But Anna has defied all odds and now is the second Victorian who has reached the amazing milestone of living with diabetes for 80 years – what a reason to celebrate.
Anna Moresby is a surprise package. When talking to the tiny 84-year-old lady, you are in for a treat, hearing one amazing story after the other. What is was like growing up with type 1 diabetes during World War 2, for example, or how her life changed when the legendary R.D. Lawrence, one of the founders of the International Diabetes Federation, became her diabetes specialist. Anna has experienced dramatic changes in diabetes management over her eight decades, has been an eye witness of life-changing developments in the diabetes world and has significantly contributed to establishing Victoria’s peer support network.
Many years ago, through Diabetes Victoria’s peer support group in the eastern suburbs, Anna met her dear friends Suzanne Warner and Dawn Stanton. All three were passionately involved through various roles from secretary to president.
“We are the three musketeers,” jokes Suzanne. All three ladies are receiving a Kellion Victory Medal this year for their long lives with diabetes – Anna for 80 years, Suzanne for 70 years and Dawn for 50 years. Together these three friends have a combined 200 years of living with diabetes – which is pretty impressive. “We are very proud and excited,” says Suzanne. “It is pretty special,” adds Dawn.
“We’re all in touch, and still meet up about every three months and have lunch,” says Anna. “The three of us have been lifelong friends,” adds Dawn. “We all say that it's much easier to talk about diabetes issues with someone who knows what you're talking about.”
All three ladies keep themselves busy during COVID-19 lockdown while staying connected with each other over the phone. They are all cleaning out their houses at the moment, sorting through many memories collected over the years. “I found the Kellion booklet from ten years ago,” laughs Suzanne. “I’m throwing out a lot, but I’m keeping this one!”
Congratulations to Anna, Suzanne and Dawn for supporting each other over the many decades living with diabetes and qualifying for the Kellion Victory Medal at the same time. How special! Well done to all our other Kellion medallists as well!
If you haven’t already, check out our podcast interview with Anna here.
And head to our website to access loads of digital assets for you to share with your networks, and join us in celebrating National Diabetes Week 2020.