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Learning to fly

Simon Steggall, who has Type 1 diabetes, is one step closer to realising his childhood dream of flying a World War 2 Hurricane plane.

Simon, 44, from Colchester, volunteers at a local airfield where he helps to maintain the Hurricane - the very last in the UK that took part in the Battle of Britain and can still be flown at air shows.

People with diabetes can apply for a National Private Pilot Licence as long as they can show that they control their condition adequately and are fit enough to pass an HGV class 2 medical.

Simon (pictured above) has recently had the all-clear from his medical team, and has also been successful in finding some sponsorship to help him with the flying lessons and equipment he needs to realise his challenge.

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As well as his passion for planes, Simon is motivated by wanting to raise awareness of diabetes and show that having diabetes doesn't mean you should give up on your dreams.

"I have been told time and time again that my diabetes would put limitations on what I can achieve in my life," said Simon.

"Being able to fly a plane has been my dream since I was a little boy.

"Taking on this challenge his a way to prove that, as long as they manage their condition effectively, people with diabetes can still live a fulfilling life."

Amanda Eden, Care Advisor at Diabetes UK said, "This is a great example of how having diabetes doesn't mean you can't lead an active life." 

For more information on flying regulations and on applying for a National Private Pilot licence visit the Civil Aviation Authority website:www.caa.co.uk/

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