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Home > VITAFRIENDSPKU > BLOGS > Living with PKU as a guy in Australia since 1987

Living with PKU as a guy in Australia since 1987

 Daniel Jarrett
by    Daniel Jarrett

Hi my name is Daniel Jarrett. I was born in a small hospital in Moruya, NSW. My parents knew nothing about PKU when I was born, and the Doctors had only just started to understand that it wasn’t all that bad as long as supplements were taken along with following a strict low-protein diet.

Daniel at work

Growing up with PKU 30 years ago looks like a lot harder work than it is today. Our formula was limited in options and always terrible, and with food, not many options were available. PKU children have no idea how much better they have it today.

In 2006, after I finished Year 12, I moved to Canberra where I completed a Diploma in Business. I later on became a door-to-door salesman, then went on to having my own solar panel business in Brisbane. I have now been in the solar industry for over 10 years.

I am fortunate enough to never get mood swings or ‘felt the effect’ of having high phenylalanine running through my veins and into my brain. Regardless of this, I have pretty much always, and still stick to the PKU diet. The alternative really isn’t worth that Pepperoni pizza. No one wants to be intellectually disabled.

Because of my job and how I have set my business up to work online for the past 5+ years, I have been working remotely from overseas, because why not.

I have lived and travelled full-time and still lived the PKULIFE. I even opened up my own restaurant and cafe in Thailand, where for 3 years it helped me really eat whatever I wanted. This meant flying all around the world with 2 big suitcases, one full of my stuff and the other, full of product. Countries I lived in for over three months at a time were UK, Thailand, USA, Colombia and Japan.

Daniel in front of statues

I have even taken protein formula into North Korea, where I stayed for 3 nights. Believe me, travelling with the stuff is a piece of cake.

Last year, as a 33 year old I had my first child. His name is Jack and his mother is Japanese. He does not have PKU and as a 5 and a half month old has eaten more Beef and Chicken than I ever will.

Daniel with his family

This lockdown has been great for me as I am loving the break from travel and enjoying living in the city of Brisbane.

Daniel with his son

PKU is nothing to worry about, ashmtha is 10x worse and look how common that is. It’s proven now, do the right thing with PKU and you can live a great life, just follow your Doctor’s advice.

Explorers Club

If you haven’t done so already, why not browse our Vitafriends Explorers Club – an education programme for families managing PKU in the early years.