A 40-year-old man from Chafford Hundred who has recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes is taking on the challenge of the London Marathon to raise vital funds for Diabetes UK. Phil Cunningam, a company director, had already signed up to run the marathon but when he was diagnosed with the condition decided he would raise money for Diabetes UK.
The father-of-one explained: “My mother was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes 10 years ago and about three years ago I hadn’t been feeling that well so visited my doctor. I was given great support from the doctor and specialist nurse and tried to make changes to my life taking up running and making efforts to improve my diet. However this year I have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. As I already had a place in the London Marathon I wanted to raise money for a charity that I hope will help me in the future.”
Type 2 diabetes is linked to a number of risk factors including age and weight as well as family history. Type 2 diabetes runs in families and the closer the relative with the condition the greater the risk.
All Diabetes UK runners are given a support package before the April 13 event, which includes fundraising and training advice, a Diabetes UK running top and a pre-race Pasta Party. After the marathon, all runners will be invited to a post-race Cool Down Party, complete with great food and massage therapists.
Diabetes UK cheer points will be at mile 12 and 24 for supporters to cheer on Phil as he aims to get round the course in under five hours. He would also like to raise £500 for Diabetes UK.
Sharon Roberts, Diabetes UK Eastern Regional Manager, said: “The London Marathon is a big challenge and requires a huge amount of dedication, time and commitment. We are really grateful for Phil’s fundraising efforts, and wish him the very best of luck. All the money raised will go a long way to help us make life better for the 3.8 million people in the UK with diabetes and the 7 million at high risk.”
Diabetes is serious and can lead to devastating complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness or amputation. But, if managed properly, people with diabetes can live long healthy lives. Early diagnosis is vital and anyone can check their risk online at www.diabetes.org.uk/Riskscore/. If after taking the test they are found to be at moderate or high risk of developing the condition they should visit their GP.
To sponsor Phil visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/PhilCunningham.