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Oxford Man gets on his bike for Diabetes UK

Jason in training

A father of two from Abingdon will take on the challenge of a lifetime to cycle this year’s Prudential RideLondon to raise money for Diabetes UK after losing an incredible 17 stone.

39-year-old Jason Southgate who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2010 will take on the gruelling 100 mile challenge on Sunday 29 July.

The RideLondon route starts at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London, heads out to the Surrey Hills and then returns for a finish on The Mall in central London. There are two distances, 46 miles or 100 miles. 

Incredible 17 stone weight loss

Jason, who works as a Calibration Scientist in Oxford, said: “Weighing nearly 30 stone at the time of my diabetes diagnosis, I tried various weight loss clubs before eventually deciding to have gastric bypass surgery in 2013 with the help of the team at the Oxford Bariatric Support Group and the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism.  I’m so grateful.  It’s given me a new lease of life. Once I lost enough weight, I got back into riding in 2015 and have maintained my active lifestyle while carefully watching what I eat. Today, four years on, I am 13 stone, I require no medication and my diabetes has gone into remission.”

Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. There are an estimated 4.6 million people living with diabetes in the UK about 90 per cent have Type 2 diabetes. People with Type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce doesn’t work properly. They might get Type 2 diabetes because of their family history, age and ethnic background puts them at increased risk. They are also more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if they are overweight. 

Cycling an average of 5 - 8 hours a week

Jason has recently overcome injury. He added: “As a member of the Abingdon Freewheeling and Abingdon Race Team, I cycle an average 5-8 hours a week. Training for the challenge had been going well until I had a nasty fall on the bike a couple of weeks ago and dislocated my collarbone. Since then it’s been a race to get fit, but luckily I’ve recovered quicker than expected and just had the all-clear from the doctor that I can still go ahead with next week’s ride.  My target is £525 but I’m on track to raise much more.”

Laura Crow, Diabetes UK Fundraising Manager for Oxfordshire, said: “Our much-needed work wouldn’t be possible without the determination and generosity of our incredible fundraisers like Jason. The money raised will help fund ground-breaking research, care services and campaigns that can change the lives of those living with diabetes.”

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