WHEN Allan Bransden was diagnosed with diabetes in 1955 at the age of 15, there were only eight other recently diagnosed patients in the ward.
Living with type 1 diabetes has presented Mr Bransden many challenges - he received a prosthetic leg in 2011, and had a finger amputated six weeks ago.
He has witnessed the evolution of diabetes treatment, receiving the first glucometer to come to Launceston.
Mr Bransden will receive a Diabetes Tasmania Kellion Award on Friday afternoon in Hobart.
Awards are given to people who have lived with diabetes for 50, 60 or 70 years.
Mr Bransden is showing no signs of slowing down, with a cheeky grin and cheerful spirit.
"I'm still kicking, I'm going to be here when I'm 100," he said.
Mr Bransden's wife, Kaye, will receive a carer's award, honouring her tireless devotion to her husband.
Mrs Bransden said that receiving the awards was "an honour".
The Youngtown couple have been married for 53 years, and have always lived in Northern Tasmania.
Mr Bransden had a career as a mechanic, and Mrs Bransden was a book binder.
The pair have three children, six grandchildren and a great-grandson.
Mr Bransden said diabetes patients needed to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
"Stay off cordials, stay off grog, stay off junk food, eat plenty of fruit," he said.
In Tasmania, there are more than 27,000 people who have been diagnosed with diabetes.
Diabetes Tasmania chief executive Caroline Wells said that Mr Bransden was a great role model.
Medical advances have made living with the disease significantly easier than when Mr Bransden was diagnosed, she said.
"You hear stories where people were sharpening their needles on knife sharpeners," Ms Wells said.
"Now, we have many different types of insulin, we have things like continuous glucose monitoring.
"However, it's still a disease that needs constant self-managing, and people need to be constantly looking after themselves."