We were away overnight with a group of friends and at dinner I was sat next to James and opposite his wife, Louise. Always a cheerful and friendly chap, James was chatting away to me but started to look a little sweaty and distressed. Alert to the signs, Louise immediately noticed the difference and quickly escorted him out of the room so they could test and readjust his blood sugar levels. I already knew that James was diabetic but this was the first time I had witnessed how this affected his daily life.
When I announced my fortycubed plans to some friends I could visibly see their fear that I would be asking for sponsorship from them at every opportunity until I reached the £40,000 target! Not so with James and Louise. They welcomed the idea with such enthusiasm and then after discussing it at home, decided that they would like to get involved and take on raising £1000 of the total target themselves for Diabetes UK. I was so touched when James held his 40th birthday bash and instead of gifts, asked for donations to Diabetes UK as part of the fortycubed challenge.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
James has Diabetes Type 1 and most cases occur in childhood or adolescence. Symptoms include going to the toilet more, being extremely thirsty, tiredness and weight loss. If untreated or unmanaged it can be fatal. James was 16 years old when he was officially diagnosed by his GP via a blood test to read his glucose level.
Impact on daily life
James believes that treated well, Diabetes Type 1 can be managed effectively and doesn’t prevent you from doing what you want to do in life.
'With my friends looking out for me I have climbed mountains in Snowdonia, mountain bike regularly with them at the weekends, swim a few kilometres every week and we recently skied as a group in Austria, doing some of the most challenging pistes I have ever tackled (at the ripe old age of 40!). So keeping fit and having the right diet is essential in maintaining your health, especially if you have Diabetes. However, there are occasions where blood sugar levels can drop and cause disorientation, which causes my wife and kids to worry about me, especially if I’m out and about by myself or away on business.'
Diabetes UK is actively engaged in raising awareness and promoting better health and more conscientious care for Diabetics to take care of themselves. Diabetes UK provides extensive funding for United Kingdom-based research into the causes and treatment of Diabetes and its complications. If enough time and money is invested into this area, within our lifetime, Type 1 Diabetes could be a thing of the past. But this research needs significant funding to create a vaccine for future generations.
James and Louise will be hosting a table at the Fortycubed Charity Dinner in October. If you would like to make a donation towards the work of Diabetes UK please follow this link to the fortycubed JustGiving page.