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Kate - Winemaker

Kate was diagnosed with Type 1 at 33 during her 3rd pregnancy. Mother of 3 girls, winemaker and part time volunteer for type 1 voice, Kate and Husband Hamish have a winery in the Adelaide Hills where she spends pretty much all her time. When she isn't making wine or driving the kids to sport or music events, she helps spread the word about type 1 diabetes by presenting talks to health groups, patients, educators and anyone that will listen!

Q & A

Since your diagnosis what have you learnt about yourself, and people around you during this transition period? Most importantly I have learnt to cut myself some slack. After initially putting unrealistic expectations on myself and how I was going to manage my diabetes, I eventually 'burned out' and have since got a much better perspective about it all. Regarding the people around me, I am forever grateful that they aren't afraid to ask questions, even if they are 'silly' ones. It is better that people are interested in understanding the truth about diabetes than making erroneous conclusions themselves. It makes me feel more supported.

As a Winemaker, mother of three beautiful girls and influential leader within your craft, how has type 1 diabetes impacted your everyday life? Obviously drinking wine as a career poses extra considerations on my decision making! I was quick to take up CGM for the extra safety, and am very disciplined in extra BGL checks when drinking. Other than that, I tend to be very preventative regarding hypo's especially when I know I have a lot of wine blends to work on that day. The easiest way to stuff up my palate is by eating jelly beans before trying to analyse 23 new wines. I am also very open about having diabetes, telling anyone that works for me that I have it and how to cope if I was to ever get into a medical urgency.

It is anyones dream to travel to France, so sharing your recent trip with your young family, what level of preparation and planning did you have to consider for your health management? What was the highlight of your trip? • Comprehensive travel insurance,
• CGM at all times so that my children were less likely to need to call an ambulance or try and communicate in an emergency in a foreign country,
• loan pump from Medtronic..
• relaxing about my diet so I made sure I had fun!
• Highlight: Crunching on sugar cubes in the House of Roederer! Brought the situation back to reality..

Have you ever found yourself in a difficult situation that has drawn unwelcome attention to you due to your condition? Nope, more funny ones. Like being teased for having a 1980's 'brick' mobile phone when I pulled my glucometer out of my handbag in a karaoke bar.. He felt terrible and I thought it was hilarious.

Do you feel the need to tell people you meet that you have type 1 diabetes, and if so how and why? It depends on the situation. Most of the time I talk about it because I don't hide my pump when I dial up, or when I test my BSL. I prefer opening the dialogue about diabetes than shutting it down. You never know, that small piece of information might come in handy one day.

You are an incredibly busy women with a range of commitments, what influenced you to take up an active role on the type 1 voice committee, and why? There is a real need for understanding in the broader community about type 1, the impact it has on people's lives (including the patient, parents, friends and family). We need to reduce stigma, increase acceptance and remove discrimination towards people with Type.

You have a wonderful partner that supports you in day to day life, along with the incredibly support he gives you in your personal health needs. How has type 1 diabetes impacted yours, and your partners life and quality of life? No major changes have occurred in our relationship, and our quality of life is exactly the same. Occasionally we get annoyed when I forget my glucometer or jelly beans, but we always resolve it together. My partner never judges me when I do forget, which I appreciate enormously, because I judge myself and feel like I've let us down.

Do you think people are still confused, about what type 1 diabetes is and the impact in has on all areas of life? Yes

What do you think are the biggest changes for those living with this condition? Constantly calculating what you are eating, being prepared ALL THE TIME for a hypo, extra insulin, back up glucometer.. Non stop organization is required to stay safe.

I understand that gestational diabetes was your initial introduction to the onset of type 1 diabetes, how did this impact you pregnancy and post delivery of your little girl? I was immediately put onto insulin which was a relief as I then felt like I was back in control and able to do everything I could for my baby. That was my only concern at the time. It meant more doctors at the hospital, and early submission (2 days prior to the caesarian) and immediate surveillance post delivery to see if I could stop insulin. (NOT!) I didn't really consider my diabetes until a few months after she was born because I was preoccupied with her. It wasn't until about 6 months later that I started considering my own potential long term health issues.

if you could share insight to someone in the similar situation or during pregnancy, what advice and assurances would you give about life with this condition? Anger, frustration, sadness, confusion all come and they all pass. Work hard at riding the lows, because with time and experience they become less and less, and you won't think about them much at all. Living with Type 1 is constant - every day is different, so don't aim for high distinctions all the time. A pass is often more than enough!

Fast 5

Who do you most admire? Anyone who stands up for others.

Your greatest weakness? My children

Greatest strength? My children

What keeps you awake at night? My children..

Five dream dinner-party guests? Bruce Springsteen, Richard Dawkins, Jacques Selosse, Dalai Lama, Jim Jefferies

Your one wish? Just one?? World Peace...

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Being a teenager with type 1, it can be hard to juggle subject timetables, social commitments with a healthy lifestyle, it would great if people understood more about type 1...

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"Type 1 Voice exists to improve people's experience of having type 1 diabetes and enabling dignified, happy and healthy living.

This is achieved through collaboration with government and industry as well as raising awareness in the workplace, school and the community."