WESTERN Warrior Matt Dixon says after 13 years, he still has to explain that unhealthy foods and sugar did not cause his type one diabetes.
The 23-year-old cricketer, based at the WA Cricket Ground in East Perth, said he had to move past the stigma surrounding the disease.
“My mates still seem to get on to me after 13 years of having diabetes and I constantly explain to them I could have been the healthiest person in the world – eventually I was going to get diabetes,” Mr Dixon said.
A Diabetes WA ambassador and Warrior since 2010, Mr Dixon said there was no reason why diabetes should hold people back.
“I don’t think diabetes has affected my sporting career too much.
“I think along the way it’s provided the odd hassle and been a little annoying but it’s also helped me because I’ve had to be a bit strict with my diet, which has helped keep me in shape,” he said.
Mr Dixon said a kid’s camp he attended in July had been a highlight of his role as an ambassador.
“It was a chance to take control of their diabetes for the first time.
“It was great seeing kids come out of their shells and take responsibility.”
Ahead of World Diabetes Day on November 14, Diabetes WA filmed a video to share stories. Diabetes WA chief executive Andrew Wagstaff said there was a perception in the wider community about what a diabetic person looked like and experienced.
“This perception is often far from the truth, so this World Diabetes Day we decided to focus on the stories of people who live with or are affected by diabetes,” Mr Wagstaff said.
“In sharing people’s stories we hope the public will learn and understand a little bit more about the condition.”