FATHER and son Matthew and Joey Pickup have an extra motivation for taking part in this year’s Bupa Great South Run.
A year ago 13-year-old Joey was diagnosed with diabetes, which took the whole family by surprise.
Until then the Drayton schoolboy had been supporting his father – who regularly does the 10-mile Southsea race – by taking part in the Great South mini events.
This year will be the first time he has taken part in the event since he was diagnosed and together the father and son team will be raising money for the charity which has helped them come to terms with Joey’s condition – Diabetes UK.
Mr Pickup, 49, a town planning consultant, said: ‘Joey was diagnosed with type one diabetes in August last year.
‘This was a complete shock and has been a very steep learning curve for the whole family, from dealing with his insulin injections to his glucose testing, so I decided to run for Diabetes UK this year.’
The 49-year-old added: ‘This is the first time we have taken part in aid of a charity.
‘We now understand the full impact diabetes can have on a child and their family and the support that a charity like Diabetes UK can offer.’
Running, as well as other physical activities, can help manage type one and type two diabetes more effectively, as well as helping to reduce the risk of developing type two diabetes.
According to Diabetes UK, across the south east there are about 361,240 people living with diabetes, in addition to around 95,400 with Type 2 diabetes who do not know it.
In Portsmouth, there are 8,518 people diagnosed with diabetes, and an estimated 2,300 people in the area who are unaware they have type two diabetes.
The condition can have devastating effects including blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke and amputation.
The charity is offering its final places for the Great South Run, which takes place on Sunday, October 28, for £20.
Jenny Green, from Diabetes UK, said: ‘We have plenty of support for our runners, including motivational tips and advice on how to train, as well as fundraising ideas. Sign up today, and be part of something great.’
To sign up go to firstname.lastname@example.org
or by telephone on 0845 123 2399.
Alternatively, sign up online at diabetes.org.uk/bupa