As the Family Centre continues to grow to provide support for people living with and affected by type 1 diabetes, we are thrilled to announce we have a new Board Director joining us.
We are even more rapt that it’s Dr Joey Kaye, who many of you know as a consultant endocrinologist at Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital (SCGH), a role he’s been dedicated to for nearly twenty years since completing his medical training.
Dr Kaye will be on our Board, alongside Rick Malone, Bec Johnson, Rob Towner, Natalie Sumich and Maria Cavallo to provide medical and clinical advice and guidance to the Family Centre.
As the current Head of Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology at SCGH, Dr Kaye has closely supported people living with type 1 diabetes for almost two decades. He also sits on the Board at Diabetes Research WA and is a Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Western Australia.
Dr Kaye completed his medical training at UWA and undertook advanced training in Endocrinology and Diabetes at various hospitals in WA as well as completing a PhD in neuroendocrinology in Bristol, the UK.
As someone who has worked first-hand with people with diabetes for many years, Dr Kaye echoes the Family Centre’s ‘life without limits’ motto and believes everyone with type 1 has the ability to achieve everything they want in life.
“The main focus with anyone with type 1 diabetes is to ensure they can successfully achieve all those things they aspire to and would’ve aspired to before they had diabetes,” he said. “The goal is that people with type 1 diabetes can achieve everything they want to and have no restrictions, allowing people to decide on everything they want to do.”
While Dr Kaye believes in a life without limits for everyone with type 1, he is no stranger to the challenges that come with living with the condition and said “there’s still lots to do” when it comes to treatment options and patient management. “The important thing to realise is that diabetes doesn’t go away, and we recognise that it’s relentless and it can be intrusive,” Dr Kaye said.
“It’s a problem that doesn’t have a fix, it’s something that always has to be addressed and thought about. There are times where it is smooth and times when it has its challenges,” he said.
Dr Kaye reiterated the importance of supporting people affected by type 1 diabetes to give them everything they need to have a high quality of life. “We need better access to technology to improve the life of with people with diabetes,” he added.
“People with diabetes need to be supported and well educated and they need resources. The people around them too so they can provide better support,” he added. “It’s important that people aren’t judged with their condition. The broader community needs to understand what living with diabetes is like.”
5 minutes with Dr Joey Kaye
What inspires you to help people with type 1 diabetes?
“Over the years working in diabetes, I have been more inspired by the people who have diabetes and witness their strength and determination and their ability to achieve amazing things. That includes getting up every day and having a normal day. To aid or assist in that is enormously rewarding.”
Why do you want to support the Family Centre?
“I’ve had some involvement with the Family Centre for a while now and the thing that’s stuck with me and changed how I do things is looking from the outside and seeing how important peer support is. I think it is as important as medical support. People with diabetes helping each other is just as important as the other pillars. I see the Family Centre as being unique and something that’s quite different and doesn’t exist really anywhere else and it’s exciting to be a part of that.”
Why is it important for you to help people living with type 1 diabetes?
“I’ve learned more about managing diabetes from people living with diabetes. That’s been a really important part of my practice. I’ve realised how important it is to advocate for people with type 1 and educate the broader community about what it means to live with type 1 diabetes. The advances in technology, treatments and new therapies research and the importance of ensuring that advocacy continues. Peer support continues to be such an important part of management and the Family Centre is such an important part of that.”
What’s the future of type 1 diabetes looking like from your perspective?
“There are intermediate near-term things that are evolving rapidly. There’s real change happening, such as technology-based solutions and advances in continuous glucose monitors, closed loop systems, and more advanced insulins offering a lot of advanced solutions for people with type 1. Getting better at understanding the risks associated with type 1 and how to mitigate them more effectively is a near-term thing that has to be thought-out effectively and addressed.
“Then there are longer-term outcomes we hold out for those sorts of things like islet cell replacements, stem cell transplants, and more permanent solutions to current treatment options or pump-delivered insulin. There are a number of therapeutic options that hold a lot of promise. I do think we will see more concrete, applicable solutions to individuals.”