Dear Alan,

I’ve got some advice for you. When you came to Australia with your wife and six kids in the early 80s you had about $500 in your pocket. Getting started in a new country is tough. I know how busy life was. Getting your qualifications recognised, getting established, raising a family.

Then you were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

It is no surprise it wasn’t on the top of your list. But it should have been. Life gets in the way but you can’t put your health on backburner.

You tried your best. You did a pretty good job of managing it under the circumstances. You didn’t know what was going to happen. Diabetes is an insidious disease. It creeps up on you. Then something stops working. That’s what will happen to your kidneys. That’s why you eventually go on to dialysis. It’s why you’ll need a kidney transplant.

The good news is the transplant worked. You are healthy. Your family are healthy. Life is good.

But there were hard times… maybe they could have been avoided.

Make your diabetes a priority. Even with everything that is going on. Watch what you eat – that can make a big difference to your diabetes management and even prevent or delay some complications.

Staying healthy means more quality time with your family. It’s too important to ignore.

Yours sincerely,