New Zealand is home to the world's longest survivors of type 1 diabetes. Eighty-four-year-old Winsome Johnston has defied the odds, in more ways than one. Ms Johnston is always has lots of people to buy presents for around Christmas – four generations, in fact. But none of this was meant to happen. “They told me if I remember rightly, the doctors, that my life wouldn't be that long,” she says. Ms Johnston was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of six. Her sister had it too, but died at the age of 16. Now, aged 84, Ms Johnston's the longest surviving person with type 1 diabetes in the world. She's had it for 78 years.
“I was determined in those days to do what I wanted to do and hopefully it would help me with the little bit of knowledge that I had.”

She was told she would never have kids. But she's had four, including twins. And now she has eight grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and another one on the way. Rab Burton also has type 1 diabetes and is Ms Johnston's diabetes nurse. She is his number one patient, having never missed an appointment in eight years. “I've learned so much from her,” he says. “And every day I tell her story to people.”
Mr Burton says the key to Ms Johnston's remarkable health is quite simple: discipline. He says the main problem for diabetics is keeping up with the unrelenting task of monitoring every single thing they eat.

More on this story here.

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