One Goal at a time

Trevor, second from left and Barbara, fourth from right, love attending their local diabetes support group

Trevor, second from left and Barbara, fourth from right, love attending their local diabetes support group

Diabetes NZ support groups are a great way to connect with others, learn about diabetes, and have fun.

Trevor Turton has had a bit of a rough time healthwise over the past few years but that’s not stopped him setting and achieving personal goals and making the most out of life

Trevor, 73, wanted to do a marathon before he turned 60 and he did just that, completing the 40th annual Rotorua marathon in 2004. And in 2010, when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he decided to knock that on the head too and has been living cancer free for seven years.

Diagnosed with type 2 diabetes soon after his cancer diagnosis, Trevor recently set himself another goal – to achieve better bloodsugar control by doing more exercise and eating more healthily.

Behind every man is a wonderful woman and in Trevor’s case wife Barbara is a rock of support in his quest for better health.

It was Barbara, who doesn’t have diabetes, who decided to check out a Diabetes NZ Rotorua Branch meeting last year by going along on her own to see what it was like.

She was immediately hooked by the camaraderie and friendliness, and the pair now regularly attend the group’s Thursday meetings.

“I’ve learned so much going to the meetings, they have guest speakers, there’s so much information available if you know where to look”, says Barbara.

“Trevor’s new goal is to look after himself and come off his diabetes medication. He’s very good, he goes to the gym and is trying to watch what he eats.

“I’m the food police because I do the cooking and try to keep him on the straight and narrow.”

Barbara and Trevor weren’t aware there was a diabetes group in Rotorua until a nurse at their GP practice recommended it.

“We like meeting other people and knowing that other people are going through it like we are, I like listening to their stories and how they are managing, it’s a great support and a great group of people,” adds Barbara.

“I’m so glad I went along to see what it was like and found out how wonderful it was.”

The couple have made some positive lifestyle changes since joining the group: they have been eating more healthily and Trevor has taken up aqua-jogging as well as going to the gym.

Check out the full list of Diabetes NZ branches here.

 *This article first appeared in the summer 2017 issue of Diabetes Wellness magazine. Subscribe to Diabetes NZ today to receive your copy.


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Jo Chapman