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Ken Ricardo presented with award for living with diabetes


MEDICAL FEAT: Ken Ricardo received Diabetes Victoria’s Kellion Victory Medal for a long life with diabetes and his wife Valerie was acknowledged as a carer.
They are with Diabetes Victoria president Glen Noonan (right) and Anthony Carbines MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ivanhoe MP (left). Credit: Artificial Studios.

KEN Ricardo has been presented with the Kellion Victory Medal for his remarkable perseverance in living with diabetes for 50 years.

The Dumbalk North resident received the award from Diabetes Victoria during National Diabetes Week.

As a young dad, Mr Ricardo remembers driving down the Hume Highway from Sydney with his wife Valerie and their two young boys in the car.

Having stopped at almost every town on the journey home to get a drink or visit the bathroom, Mr Ricardo went to see a doctor on his return and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Ken and Valerie both came from dairy farming families and had big dreams to continue the family legacy.

Following Mr Ricardo’s diagnosis, they had to leave the farm, but he remained positive and resilient.

Taking this as an opportunity to help others, he joined Berwick Apex Club where he talked openly about diabetes and assisted others with their questions.

 

Less than 100 years ago, type 1 diabetes severely shortened a person’s life. Half of the people who developed it died within two years and more than 90 per cent were dead within five years.
 
Due to the introduction of insulin therapy in the 1920s and advances since, the long term survival of those with type 1 diabetes has improved.

 

Ten years later the family moved back to the country, buying a run-down irrigation dairy farm in Katunga.

Over the next 20 years, with lots of hard work and enduring night hypos, Mr Ricardo, his wife and their youngest son Alan built a successful dairy business they were proud of.

Since retiring, Mr Ricardo and his wife have been travelling throughout Australia and abroad.

Now living in South Gippsland, the couple enjoys gardening and spending time with their grandchildren and great grandchildren.

“My wife Val is the reason I have survived 50 years living with diabetes. She is my meal organiser and has revived me many times from night comas,” Mr Ricardo said.

“She is my life and I am forever grateful that she has stuck by me through the hard times.”

The Kellion Victory Medal honours the lives of people who have lived with diabetes for many decades.

“There is no cure yet for type 1 diabetes, but recent innovations have improved life expectancy and quality of life immensely,” Diabetes Victoria CEO Craig Bennett said.

Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia. More than 333,000 Victorians are living with diabetes, 10 per cent with type 1 diabetes.

 

 

 

 

 

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=29669

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