AFFLICTED CHAMP: Cathy Freeman tells some young fans about Diabetes at Auscare Pharmacy, City Centre Plaza, following the Diabetes Expo.
AFFLICTED CHAMP: Cathy Freeman tells some young fans about Diabetes at Auscare Pharmacy, City Centre Plaza, following the Diabetes Expo. Sharyn Oneill Roksdiabete

Cathy Freeman’s race for lives

CATHY Freeman's life is no longer filled with the sound of thousands cheering her on as her feet pound the track and her heart races at 100 beats per minute.

Instead she's dedicating her time to a cause close to her heart. The 40-year-old visited Rockhampton this weekend in her role as a Diabetes Care Ambassador, appearing at the Diabetes Expo at Emmaus College, and AusCare Pharmacy at City Centre Plaza with Rob Palmer from Better Homes and Gardens.

Cathy has type two diabetes, a condition she said was very much a part of her family history.

This is the country's fastest growing chronic disease, with 280 Australians diagnosed every day. She said with effective management and focusing on health and nutrition and managing your own sense of well being, the disease needn't be a burden.

"You can lead a fulfilling life just with the right attitude," Cathy said. "Having good relationships with your GP and just getting equipped with the right information and drawing on other people's stories too because there's an army of people living with diabetes."

Her role has helped her as well. "I guess I didn't enjoy it when... I was informed of the fact I'd have to be living with diabetes," she said. "I was a little bit down about it and then it's just one of those things where it is what it is and it's just about acceptance.

"There are countless people who I'm inspired by as well and it's lovely because once you have that one conversation about something, then there's another person who has a similar story... before you know it if you take a look around especially at an event like today you think 'jeez I'm not the only one going through this, there are people out there who understand what I'm going through because they're going through it themselves'."

 

Type Two Diabetes

  • Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, affecting 85-90% of all people with diabetes.
  •  
  • It usually affects older adults, but more younger people, even children, are getting type 2 diabetes.
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  • Insulin is produced but not in the amount your body needs and it does not work effectively.
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  • A result of genetic and environmental factors.
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  • Up to 60% of type 2 diabetes can be prevented.
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  • To avoid the disease maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, eat well, manage your blood pressure and cholestorol and don't smoking.
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  • There is currently no cure for type 2 diabetes, but it can be managed through lifestyle modifications and medication.


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