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Diabetes not a life sentence, says Kiwi actor

10 November 2014

Diabetes not a life sentence, says Kiwi actor

It’s well known that diabetes is a huge health issue in New Zealand - nearly a quarter of a million Kiwis have diabetes and at least 50 more are diagnosed every day. But what is less well known is that anyone can get diabetes and if it’s not properly managed, the consequences can be extremely serious. This is one of the key messages that Diabetes New Zealand wants people to take on board during Diabetes Awareness Week from 11 -17 November.

According to Diabetes New Zealand President Chris Baty, careful management, including taking any prescribed medication as instructed, eating healthily and having regular physical activity, is the key to living well for people who have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Actor Cameron Jones who has Type 1 diabetes can attest to this. Shortland Street audiences will be familiar with Cameron who playsambulance officer, Dallas Adams in the popular television series.

“I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when I was 16 and ever since then I’ve lived with the condition the best way I know how – to the fullest,” Cameron Jones says. “Originally, I thought it was going to be something that would hold me back and impact on my life in huge ways, but I’ve learnt with careful management, and by leading a healthy lifestyle, diabetes does not have to control your life.”

With adrenalin sports such as surfing among his passions, Cameron Jones says he wants other people to know that living with diabetes isn’t a life sentence. However he also wants people to be aware of how to look after themselves if they do have it. “If I can make others aware that all types of people from all walks of life go through this – and that life can still be whatever you want it to be , then I will feel like I am doing a little bit to change the perception of the condition,” he says.

While type 1 diabetes like Jones’s, is not preventable, type 2 diabetes (the most common type) can be delayed or even avoided. “Eating a healthy, well balanced diet is important. It means eating lots of fruit and veges and not as many takeaways and processed foods. It’s also important to stay active and there are lots of easy ways to get exercise into your normal day – for example take the stairs not the lift, walk the kids to school, go for a walk at lunchtime,” Chris Baty says. “Help yourself to a healthier future. Do the right thing for you and your family/whanau and get on the right path today.”

ENDS

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