Lisa Harris (nee Clark)
My story began in the early 1970’s, when I was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 5. With many years of hospital admissions, my dad (Stanley Clark) reached a point where he realised that urine testing was an unreliable way of testing glucose levels. With his knowledge as an electronics engineer, he set out to make the world’s first HOME blood glucose tester!
By 1979, I was 12 years old and my dad’s testers were dedicated to the International Year of the Child. At this point, the testers were manufactured in Australia and supplied worldwide and as the glucose testers became a success, I also became the “face” for the business – and the blood glucose testers! Our family were involved with something that would change the way diabetes was managed.
Meanwhile the multinational companies started to create their own testers and it was difficult for our small family business to compete with their financial force. Within six months we were out of business.
To this day, other than the invention of insulin, nothing has compared with the success my Dad created with his glucose testers. He totally revolutionised diabetes. He made it possible for people living with diabetes to escape hospital admission and test at home. What my dad created will always be one of the most important parts of life for someone living with diabetes.
I am now married with two children (22 and 15), run my own business and lead an extremely busy, successful and satisfying life. And now I’m also helping others as a Diabetes NSW Ambassador.