Local fireman, Garth Belshaw, is taking on the Ballynahinch 10k on Saturday 21 April to help raise awareness of diabetes in Northern Ireland. The only difference is that Garth will be doing the 10k in his fireman’s uniform and full breathing apparatus, weighing an extra 12.2kg.
Garth Belshaw said, ‘I decided to take on this challenge and added a weighty twist to help raise awareness of how serious diabetes is. I have friends who are living with this condition and I have seen the impact it has had on them. Diabetes is silent but the impact of it affects every aspect of someone’s life. I want to use the Ballynahinch 10K to shout about diabetes and hopefully help people living with it.
‘It is going to be a real challenge, the breathing apparatus is a life saver in my line of work but for a 10k it will not be my usual welcome companion. I just want to help Diabetes UK Northern Ireland help local people trying to manage their diabetes and hopefully when I cross the finish line we will have taken one step closer to doing just that.’
There are over 100,000 people living with the condition in Northern Ireland and this number continues to grow every year. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are serious conditions that can lead to devastating complications such as amputation, blindness, kidney disease, stroke and heart disease if people don’t receive the right care.
Diabetes UK Northern Ireland National Fundraiser, Naomi Breen, said, ‘We would like to thank Garth for taking on this amazing challenge for Diabetes UK Northern Ireland. We hope that people will come out to support Garth and cheer him on at the Ballynahinch 10k on Saturday 21 April.
‘Hopefully people will see that they are not alone with diabetes and that there is help and support available. We want to help as many people as possible because with the right support and information then you can manage diabetes rather than it manage you.’