DannyType1 Diabetics Interview
According to the latest Diabetes MILES Study released in May, over 1 million Australians are registered with diabetes on the National Diabetes Services Scheme, with many more not registered.
About half of these adults with diabetes reported that they have never been offered structured diabetes education to provide them with the necessary knowledge and skills they need to live with diabetes - potentially representing 500,000 people in Australia.
Danny Kirk from DannyType1.com.au
is set to change this. Danny Kirk, Diabetic Lifestyle Coach and a Type 1 diabetic for over 20 years, has officially launch DannyType1.com.au
- an educational service offering a holistic program to reduce these alarming figures.
Currently diabetics only spend approximately six hours a year with healthcare professionals, so over 99% of diabetes care is self-care. DannyType1 is a place where diabetics can:
Get advice from Danny, a type 1 diabetic himself for over 20 years
Tips on how deal to with each stage (diagnosis/post-diagnosis)
Take a free risk assessment
Register for Danny's 1:1 Diabetes Management program (Currently Sydney only with the aim to go national over the next 6 months)
Read Danny's inspirational story
Danny himself was diagnosed with diabetes at age 21 and went from being a fit, sports obsessed young man to thinking he wouldn't live past 30 - resulting in a downward 10 year spiral of sex, drugs and rock n roll. Now aged 41, Danny has turned his life around and is hoping to do the same for diabetics across Australia, starting with NSW.
"Living with diabetes is not just about changing your eating habits and exercise regimen. There are so many emotions you experience - the highs, the lows and rock bottom, which over the past 20 years I have successfully hit all three. There needs to be more emotional support for newly diagnosed diabetics, as more and more are also suffering with depression as a result of their diagnosis," said Danny Kirk.
Danny's, DannyType1 holistic program covers four key areas:
1. Emotional Diabetes Management
2. Stress and Diabetes Management
3. Movement (Exercise) and Diabetes Management
4. Nutrition and Diabetes Management
Interview with Danny KirkQuestion:
What is DannyType1?Danny Kirk
: DannyType1 is one of the first places where diabetics of all types or people concerned about being diagnosed with diabetes can go to get help, ask questions, find out the best way to take control, receive support and even take the free Diabetes Assessment tool to see if you have any symptoms. For me, the name was a pretty easy one to come up with, my name and condition. DannyType1 offers support in all areas and provides a community space for diabetics to talk to each other. Question:
What inspired you to create DannyType1?Danny Kirk
: The main reason behind me creating DannyType1 was the lack of support in the medical world for diabetics. I have been though the system and it does the best it can but it won't be enough for most diabetics to change their lifestyle and get results. I can fill in the gaps and help them to move forward with their lives, just as I have. Question:
Can you talk about your diabetes diagnoses?Danny Kirk
: Of course, the detailed story of my diagnosis is on the site but in short I was diagnosed with diabetes Type1 at the age of 21, for my family it was meant to be a time of celebrations, within two weeks it was my 21st, my sisters 18th and my parents silver wedding anniversary but everything changed when at the end I was in hospital. It was a big shock to myself and my family. I found it very difficult to cope at that age, when someone tells you have a chronic condition that affects every organ in your body. Life changing stuff! Question:
How does DannyType1 provide support for those who have recently been diagnosed with diabetes? Danny Kirk
: DannyType1 provides support through the following ways; my honest personal experience on how it feels to be diagnosed, understanding what emotional impact there is on the yourself and the family unit and for long term diabetics understanding why things haven't improved for them and they keep getting poor results when tested. Question:
How does diabetes affect you on a daily basis?Danny Kirk
: The thing with diabetes is that you have no choice but to keep on top of every part of your condition every day, you don't get a day off - which is a large daily undertaking for most people. You can't even have a weekend off; it's something you must take care of each and every day. At times it can be very frustrating and anger becomes part of the equation as well. Question:
Who did you create DannyType1 for?Danny Kirk
: DannyType1 was created for diabetics just like me, when I was lost and confused. It is a very lonely condition, so to be part of a community is very important. Knowing that you are not on your own is very empowering indeed. Plus, there are almost as many undiagnosed diabetics in Australia as diagnosed which is very scary. Question:
What ongoing management is needed for people with diabetes?Danny Kirk
: Testing your BGL on a daily basis is one of the most important things you need to do. Then think about how you make adjustments without knowing where you are. I personally limit the amount of sugar I take per day because this gives me tighter control. It's about you being in control of your diabetes and not the other way around. Question:
Why did you decide to turn your life around and become a personal trainer?Danny Kirk
: I was at a point in my life where I needed a career/life change and previous to my diagnosis had always been into sports of all types so for me it was a natural choice.
Personal Training is huge in the Eastern Suburbs (where I live) and it ticked all the boxes for me. I'd never come across a Type1 Personal Trainer or Diabetes Lifestyle Coach and I knew this is what I was meant to do in life. I know I can help other diabetics because I have made the bad decisions in the past myself. My role is to show them what is needed! Question:
Can you provide further information on the DannyType1 holistic program four key areas?Danny Kirk
: The holistic approach is pretty straight forward, it's all based around the body and mind working as one to achieve a positive outcome and optimal health. The four key areas include Movement (Exercise controlling your levels whilst exercising), Nutrition (Food - I only eat Organic), Stress (Stress from everyday life) and Emotional (The stress of being a diabetic and how you cope). Question:
What is the Danny's 1:1 Diabetes Management program?Danny Kirk
: The 1 on 1 program is a fantastic tool where I will get involved around the home and family. It's a lot more in-depth and personal and will bring greater and faster rewards. It involves meeting other holistic professionals which I work with and having sessions about cooking organic food and where to find it. It's a complete profile of your diabetic lifestyle and educates diabetics to give them confidence and belief in - without these it's an uphill battle.
Interview by Brooke Hunter