Home' Hastings Mail : June 28th 2011 Contents 9
HASTINGS MAIL, JUNE 29, 2011
Diabetes milestone: Creative quilter Colleen Gubb, from Taradale, celebrates 50 years on insulin.
defies the odds
By CAROLYN VEEN
Colleen Gubb is believed to be the first Hawke s
Bay person to have survived 50 years on insulin.
The Napier woman was diagnosed with Type1
diabetes at a time when the prognosis was, at
best, living another 40 years, says Diabetes NZ
Hawke s Bay president Beth Boag.
Testing for blood glucose levels was very
imprecise back then as it depended on urine
testing, and even as late as the mid-1970s most of
those diagnosed with Type1 were still only
expected to live maybe to their 60s, Ms Boag
Diabetes New Zealand views these survivors as
very special, because there are so few who live
long and healthy lives. With the huge
improvements in equipment and insulin more will
survive well, but the national society awards
special Charles Burns Certificates to mark the
Colleen will receive one of only two certificates
awarded over the whole of New Zealand so we
regard her as very special , Ms Boag says.
Colleen started taking insulin in 1961 at the age
of six, and her parents made the wise decision of
not telling her about the grim prognosis until she
was an adult.
I grew up believing my life would be just like
anybody else s and that I could do anything I
wanted. If anything, I felt quite special as a child,
says the 55-year-old.
Obviously I wasn t able to eat the cakes and
lollies at birthday parties, but I don t remember
that being a problem for me. I suppose I was a
positive kid. Mum would always pack a jar of
sliced fruit for me to take along, because ice cream
and jelly were not allowed either.
At the age of eight, Colleen learned how to inject
herself daily; a vital step if she wanted to stay
overnight at her friend s house.
Back then everything was quite different. The
syringes were glass and these needed to be
sterilised every few days, and the needles had to
be sharpened. My dad used to sharpen mine every
I always remember how excited I was when the
Diabetes Society said they d give me a medal if I
reached the age of 50. The thought of getting that
medal was always on my mind, but I won t be
getting one, because these days it s not uncommon
for diabetics to live long and healthy lives. But the
Charles Burns Certificate will be nice.
In 1985, Colleen was one of the first to buy an
insulin pump, which is worn all the time.
These have improved over the years and
although they re still costly and quite technical,
once you re familiar with how it works, it makes
life so easy. The pump is programmed for set basal
rates over different periods of time during 24
hours, so it gives you the freedom to do things you
want to do.
I can change the basal rate every hour if want
to, just by programming it in. For instance, when
I know I m going to do an hour of physical exer-
cise, then I work out how much insulin I will need
for that. It can be a bit like walking on a tightrope
all the time, but you soon get used to it.
After recovering from a triple by-pass heart
operation a few years ago, Colleen makes sure she
and her wonderful husband Phil do something
that s out of her comfort zone at least once a year.
This year we did the Otago Rail Trail, and
since then we ve been doing a lot of cycling around
the Bay s wonderful cycleways -- life is great!
Colleen, who is an accomplished quilter, has
just been chosen as a pin-up girl for this year s
Diabetes Awareness Week, that kicks off in
International games in town
Hawke s Bay is the big winner
after New Zealand Cricket
released its international pro-
gramme for next summer.
McLean Park was
announced as the venue for
the first test between the
Black Caps and Zimbabwe
from January 26 to 30, and
also the third and final ODI on
Cricketing giants South
Africa will also be in town on
February 29 for the second
ODI in its three match series
against the Black Caps.
Central Districts boss Hugh
Henderson was delighted
and doesn t believe Zimbabwe
will be too hard a sell.
It s a home game for Ross
Taylor as the new [Test] cap-
tain and the locals will be keen
to get out and support him.
Rural mural: A bright splash in a winter landscape.
A clean school,
at Argyll East
Companion planting: Kennedy Lincoln, Kayla Douglas and Jonty Laver plant a
ribbonwood tree at Argyll East School.
While Paper4Trees have good
national sponsorship, they are
seeking more local sponsors for
If you, or your business, feel you
can help out this wonderful
recycling programme, please
contact Paper4Trees at PO Box
2523 Tauranga, 3110 or email
MORE ABOUT PAPER4TREES
As part of the Paper4Trees initiative, schools receive one native tree/
shrub/grass or flax for every 2000 litres of paper and cardboard they
recycle, which is equivalent to either eight 240-litre wheelie bins, three
woolsacks or a two-cubic metre recycling skip.
EERST provides all schools with 30-litre green recycling bins for every room,
including classrooms, staffrooms, offices and libraries.
The green bins make it easier for schools to recycle, as it keeps the paper
and cardboard separate from other materials, limiting the amount of sorting
Most schools let the students take charge and collect the green bins from
around the school and empty them into a larger recycling bin.
As part of the Paper4Trees pro-
gramme run by the Environmental
Sustainability Trust (EERST),
Argyll East School is recycling its
cardboard and paper.
Paper and cardboard make up 75
per cent of school waste.
There s not an ordinary rubbish
bin in sight at the school because
children put their rubbish in the cor-
rect place to make it easy to recycle.
Besides paper waste, which is
sorted and stored in woolsacks and
collected monthly by a local contrac-
tor, food scraps are either taken
Argyll East school pupils are keen
gardeners and have their own veg-
etable garden. They enjoy cooking
what they harvest.
Once we made rhubarb muffins,
says Kayla Douglas.
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