Today (Sept 15) is the 65'th anniversary of my type 1 diagnosis. I was diagnosed in 1945, just 5 days after my 6'th birthday. To have no serious diabetes related complications after 65 years of type 1 seems rather amazing. I don't know why I am so lucky, my doctor's have no explanation. The most popular theory seems to be "good genes". That does make good sense, but I don't think it has been proved by research.
The Joslin Medalist Study has examined more than 600 long term type 1 diabetics. All the participants have been type 1 for at least 50 years, and they do not have any serious complications. The study is scheduled to conclude in April, 2011. Maybe the factor(s) that explain our having long, healthy lives will be revealed in Dr King's final report at that time.