Gaining Back Control of her Diabetes – Kaye’s Story
Kaye Frearson is waiting for a life-changing phone call. A call that will give her the news she’s always wanted – a cure for the diabetes she has been living with for over 38 years.
Kaye is in the process of having tests to check her eligibility for an islet transplant, which if all goes well, could lead to a cure for her severe type 1 diabetes.
Diagnosed with diabetes when she was 26-years-old, Kaye’s diabetes became uncontrollable over two decade ago, and now she suffers from severe hypo unawareness which takes its toll on her daily life.
“It was a terrible age to be diagnosed because I just wanted to go out and have fun with my friends. Back before we had insulin pumps, you used to have to eat dinner before 6pm each night which made it hard to go out for dinner with friends,” Kaye said.
“I now suffer from severe hypo unawareness. I used to be able to know when my blood glucose was low, through a tingling of my lips and a creepy feeling on the back of neck, but I didn’t realise when I wasn’t getting those feelings anymore.”
As a result of her hypo unawareness, Kaye has had a number of scary and dangerous experiences. It’s these experience that have stopped her from taking numerous exciting opportunities throughout her life and career.
“I’ve been having three or four hypo episodes a week, and the scary thing is no one can tell when I’m having an episode anymore,” Kaye said.
“I’ve had some terrible experiences because of my hypo unawareness, with one of the worst ones just recently leaving me in the intensive care unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital for three days.
“I’ve let my diabetes dictate my life, I’ve missed a lot of travel opportunities and turned down fantastic jobs overseas because I wouldn’t have had the support I needed.”
Not wanting to let the condition take over the rest of her life, Kaye is hopeful the islet transplant procedure will at the very least rid her of her hypo unawareness, and at best cure it all together. It’s because of your support for Professor Toby Coates and his world-class team’s research that Kaye has the option of this treatment.
“I’ve been controlled by this disease for 38 years of my life and it’s an imposition. If I can just get my hypo awareness back, that will extend my life significantly.”
Having lived with diabetes for over half of her life, a future without diabetes would mean so much to Kaye.
“I would love to be able to walk further from home without having to take a kilogram of jelly beans and all the rest with me. I would be able to go to sleep at night knowing I was going to wake up in the morning.
“I think I would be able to be a lot more hopeful. At the moment I find it hard to make decisions about the future because I don’t know if I’ll be in it.”
Your support allows our researchers to change the lives of Kaye and others like her who are living with chronic conditions. Thank you.