FOR Clinton man Ian Haughton, 60 years of diabetes began when he fell into a coma after drinking cherry syrup prescribed for a cold as a teenager.
Earlier this week, Mr Haughton was presented with the gold Kellion Victory Medal by Diabetes Queensland for surviving six decades with diabetes.
The father-of-three and grandfather-of-nine said getting through every day was like "walking on a knife's edge".
"If you have too much insulin, you fall over, if you don't have enough insulin, you fall over," he said. "It's staying on the edge of the knife blade and not falling off either way."
Although his children and grandchildren have not shown signs of the condition, the family is staying aware.
"They're all going great, no signs of diabetes in any of them at this stage but could develop later," Mr Haughton said.
Mr Haughton had participated in "everything sports wise and work wise", and retired from construction work aged 64.
An outgoing person, Mr Haughton was a leader "most of the time", both at work and in sport.
Diabetes Queensland health administrator Debra Lostroh made a recent visit to Mr Haughton's home to present the prize - an award usually given during National Diabetes Week and World Diabetes Day.
The medal, accompanied by a certificate, is presented every ten years to diabetes patients who have had the disease for 50 years or more.
The Kellion Victory Award Scheme began with the Claude Kellion Foundation. The late Claude Kellion started a foundation in honour of his son John, who died from diabetes-related complications aged 39.
In 1984, Diabetes Australia responded to a proposal by Dr Alan Stocks to recognise and commemorate Australians living with long-term diabetes.