IN 1957 the Mahony family had bought a newsagency in Wodonga about the same time as young Terry, then 7, became unwell.
“So Dad had to come up here and leave me with Mum in Melbourne to try and find out what was going on,” Mr Mahony recalled.
“I remember having blood tests taken out of my ear, every hour on the hour.”
Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, Mr Mahony will receive Diabetes Victoria’s Kellion Victory Medal in Melbourne on Tuesday for living 60 years with the condition.
His award presentation takes place during National Diabetes Week, which began on Sunday.
The Albury-Wodonga Diabetes Support Group said in the Albury and Benambra electorates more than 8000 people had diabetes, 90 per cent of them with type 2.
This week, the group will be at Albury Library Museum (Tuesday), Lavington Library (Wednesday) and Wodonga Library (Thursday) between 10am and 2pm to provide information about the condition.
Spokeswoman Liz Hare said members would focus on raising awareness of the signs of diabetes.
“Because with earlier detection we can reduce the risk of Australians developing life-threatening health problems and improve lives,” she said.
Mr Mahony said as a child he tried to hide his condition from friends “but as you get older you soon realise you weren't the only one with it”.
Over the years monitoring and treatments improved, with Mr Mahony able to play football and cricket, help the family business and also work in The Border Mail’s commercial printing side for 22 years from the late 1960s.
About 10 years, kidney complications put him on dialysis for about 22 months, firstly in hospital and then at home supervised by his wife Marion, every second night for eight hours.
Mrs Mahony said a couple of late-night scares led her to consider an alternative.
“I thought I’ve got two good kidneys, so we’ll see what we can do,” she said.
Mr Mahony’s successful kidney transplant, donated by his wife, took place in 2009 and since then the couple have continued to live quietly in Wodonga.
“I think with the young ones (with diabetes) these days, they’ve still got to get out and they’ve got to live their lives,” Mrs Mahony said.
“It’s not something that should hold them back.”
- National Diabetes Week runs from July 9 to 15