Diabetes support group wants you

When Bob Laidler, pictured above, knocked back an entire two-litre bottle of soft drink 11 years ago, he knew something was up.

His sudden and intense sugar craving prompted him to see his doctor the following day, confirming his grim suspicion – he had type 2 diabetes.

“There’d been a bit of stress in the family; we thought my wife had pancreatic cancer, but I have no history of it [diabetes] in the family,” the Bulla resident said.

While his wife’s ill health turned out to be just a scare, Mr Laidler has had to manage living with his disease with medication, a balanced diet and frequent exercise, for more than a decade now.

After being diagnosed, he joined the Sunbury Diabetes Support Group, which had about 30 members at the time and held regular meetings.

But, over the years, member numbers dwindled, a fate Mr Laidler wants to reverse.

He’s hoping National Diabetes Week (July 12-18) will lift awareness of the disease and the effectiveness of support groups, and encourage others in the area to join.

“It gives you an insight into how other people manage their diabetes and makes
you aware that you’re not on your own,”
he said.

“It doesn’t have to be a death sentence.”

Neither diabetes nor age has slowed down the 64-year-old, who owns and runs a kennel at Bulla. He says with careful management, diabetics can live a normal life.

Details: www.diabetesaustralia.com.au

Sunbury Diabetes Support Group: 9307 1111