Brother and sister collect medals during National Diabetes Week after collectively dealing with illness for 100 years


Noreen Hall and John McLaughlin. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Noreen Hall and John McLaughlin. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

DISEASES can often run in families and for brother and sister John McLaughlin and Noreen Hall it is diabetes.

Last week the siblings marked a century between them of living with the disease and successfully managing it.

They were each presented with Kellion Victory medals during National Diabetes Week last week.

The medals recognise those who have lived with Type 1 diabetes for 50, 60, 70 and even 75 years.

Mrs Hall from Morley was diagnosed with the disease at age 14 after experiencing extreme thirst and weight loss and her older brother was diagnosed with the disease one year later.

It came as a shock as in 1962 there was little awareness about the disease.

“Our poor mother was horrified that both of her children were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes,” Mr McLaughlin.

“For years she felt responsible, believing it was something she had or hadn’t done, but we both assured her that it wasn’t her fault.”

Mr McLaughlin from Bertram said they both lived life to the fullest, becoming parents and then grandparents, and each had a successful career.

Diabetes WA chief executive Andrew Wagstaff presented the medals to nine people on July 13.

“Many of the Kellion Victory Medal recipients have had diabetes since they were children, and despite some experiencing complications throughout their life, they are all still coping well. Every one of them is an inspiration to the more than 120,000 Western Australians managing diabetes on a daily basis,” he said.

National Diabetes Week takes place from 10 – 16 July, focusing on the theme of foot health.

Damage to the feet is one of the most common diabetes complications, resulting in 4400 lower limb amputations in Australia each year.

Visit Diabetes WA or call 1300 136 588 for more information on how to care for your feet.