Determined Alex Tominey will be tackling a 14-mile route across the southern stretch of Portsea Island on Saturday in aid of Diabetes UK.
Alex was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic 14 years ago when he was just 14 – a condition he admitted he struggled to come to terms with.
Speaking about his condition, he said: ‘Since my type 1 diagnosis 14 years ago, I believed that it didn’t matter how I lived my life, that I was destined to be ill and probably die young, so it didn’t matter if I smoked, ate fast food once a day and avoided checking my blood sugar levels.
‘I mistakenly believed that I could continue living my life as if I had never been diagnosed, numbing myself to the reality of my condition. That all changed in January when I was diagnosed with neuropathy in my right foot and background retinopathy which can lead to blindness if left untreated.
‘This was the trigger that made me realise I had to face reality about my diabetes and make some changes.’
There are an estimated 4.8 million people living with diabetes in the UK. If not managed carefully, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications, including sight loss, nerve damage which can lead to amputation, kidney failure and stroke.
But with the right treatment and support people living with diabetes can lead a long and healthy life.
Alex added: ‘I’ve completely turned my life around since January and lost over 14kg by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. I’ve also been smoke-free for 89 days and counting.
‘Running has played a huge part and I recently completed a 10km run for the first time which has inspired me to train for a half marathon in my city of Portsmouth.
‘I’m running for Diabetes UK because they have some great articles on their website which have helped me mentally come to terms with the condition and the nerve damage in my foot through years of poor blood glucose control.’
Jill Steaton, Diabetes UK regional head in the south east, was thrilled by Alex’s support. She said: ‘We are delighted that Alex is taking on this challenge for Diabetes UK. During the past year, demand for our services has reached unprecedented levels and our own funding has been significantly impacted.
‘People with diabetes need us now, and so we need your support to be able to continue fighting. Please support his challenge - your support can change lives.’
Alex has raised £1,020 but hopes to hit £1,500. To sponsor him see justgiving.com/fundraising/Alexander-Tominey