NZ diabetes patient gets special award

New Zealand's longest surviving type 1 diabetes patient has become the third person in the world to receive a special award.

The H G Wells medal is awarded to people who've lived with the condition for 80 years.

Eighty-eight-year-old Winsome Johnston was diagnosed when she was six and says it took hard work and tenacity to stay healthy.

"I just hated it," says Mrs Johnston, "I used to go to the clinics and see all these people without legs and arms and things and I thought I'm never going to be like that, and that was when the determination started."

"Determination, I think that's the important word, determination."

Winsome Johnston was born just six years after insulin was discovered.  She had to have regular injections but says the large needles didn't scare her.

"I just thought that's something I'll have to do and I'll just have to get used to it," she says.

"The urine tests, they were the worst things, having to boil urine up and test and see if it was blue."

The introduction of modern blood sugar meters was life changing, and bar the odd ice cream and fish and chips she's stuck to the rules.

Mrs Johnston says she's proud to have reached the milestone and was overwhelmed to receive the award.