Battling blisters and scorching temperatures a team of intrepid walkers took part in a gruelling 50 mile charity trek to raise £9,000 for a diabetes charity.
Thanks to the sheer grit and determination of the 20 plucky participants Action4Diabetics can now help keep 20 young people with Type 1 diabetes in South-East Asia alive for another year by funding essential medical care.
And with more money still coming in for the ‘Challenge4Charity’ walk from Endcliffe Park to Bakewell the charity is hoping to hit the £10,000 mark.
Amongst those taking part were Charlie Connor, aged six, Joss Legon, aged eight and nine-year-old Neev Renton who has Type 1 diabetes - completing an impressive 54 miles between them.
Diana Maynard, UK events manager for Action4Diabetics, who is registered blind following complications from Type 1 diabetes, completed the trek on Saturday.
Speaking about the event she said: “It went really well we couldn’t have asked for better weather, there’s nothing worse than walking in the rain.
“It was fantastic we had 20 walkers and 13 completed the full 50 miles. The three children that took part were incredible and were able to complete so much more than they expected. They were singing, dancing, laughing the whole way and all looking after each other, they had an absolute blast. They just kept pushing themselves and embodied the spirit of the whole event. I was so proud of them and everyone who took part.
“I finished the course at 4am covered in blisters after walking seven hours in the dark but the adrenalin just kept me going, we were all absolutely buzzing throughout and it was so brilliant to see everyone encouraging each other.
“A lot of people carried on through the dark in incredible pain and I can’t thank everyone that took part enough no matter how many miles they walked they all gave more than 100 per cent for such a good cause.”
All the money raised will go to Action4Diabetics - a charity that provide life-giving medical care and essential development support for young people with Type 1 diabetes in emerging countries in Asia. Without this, many of these children would die.
It is hoped the event, the first of its kind the charity has organised, will become an annual thing.
Diana knows only too well the struggles of living with Type 1 diabetes after being diagnosed when she was eight and seeing her dad Rodney lose his battle with the condition in his early 70s.
She said: “My dad had Type 1 diabetes so I was aware of it growing up and then when I was diagnosed back in 1979 the technology then was non existent.
“Back then there wasn’t the support so I’ve seen so many changes over the years. When I was diagnosed I just had to get on with it, my dad told me your choice is inject yourself for rest of life or die, it was that simple.
“I’ve seen first hand complications that can arise the condition and have been registered as blind as a result for about 20 years now.
“It has been difficult but you don’t have to let these kind of things limit you.
“Despite all the fancy technology we have in this country people still die from horrible complications let alone in South East Asia where people don’t have access to the same medical technology.
“My dad would have been so proud of what we achieved at the charity walk, he is my inspiration. He never gave up even when he had his legs amputated as a result of his diabetes, he had such a fighting spirit and never gave up, I saw that in spades on the walk the way people just kept going.
“My eyesight deteriorating has been a challenge and I had to learn to do a lot of things again but I love doing active things like walking and cycling and I try not to let it stop me.
“Even just walking out on the hills is difficult but you have to make a choice you can sit at home play scrabble with the cat or go out and find solutions to overcome these problems.”
Action4Diabetics teamed up with local organisation Will4Adventure.com to organise the event.
Diana said: “A big thank you to Will4Adventure.com, all the marshals on the day, everyone who took part,everyone who donated money and the sponsors.”
It is hoped the event will help raise awareness of the charity.
Diana said: “Around 400 million people in the world currently live with diabetes, and more than half of these live in Asia. Many of these people don’t even know why they’re ill.
“Action4Diabetics has a simple aim: to provide life-giving medical care and essential development support for young people with Type 1 Diabetes in emerging countries in Asia. Without this, many of these children literally just die.
“We organise active challenges all over the world, focusing on encouraging people with diabetes, or who might be at risk of diabetes, and non-diabetics to get active, not to be afraid of sport, and to adopt physical activity as part of their daily routine.
“Our motto for the Challenge4Charity was ‘One Day - One Child - One Life - One Year.’ That’s because if each participant raises the £350 in sponsorship we encourage, added to their entry fee, then they will raise enough in that one day to save one child’s life for an entire year on the charity’s insulin program. It’s quite amazing.”
To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/a4d