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Intrepid fundraiser takes on new paddleboard challenge across Scotland


A Diabetes UK supporter is travelling from Ohio, USA, to take part in the Great Glen Challenge 2019, paddleboarding from Fort William to Inverness, to raise money for the charity.

Adrian Angell has already crossed the English Channel on a paddleboard raising over £2000 for Diabetes UK. He hopes to raise a further £1000 through this challenge.

Inspired by his niece, Megan, who lives with Type 1 diabetes, Adrian will join in the race on 21 September. He aims to complete the 92km (57 miles) course non-stop in around 14 hours.

Chemical engineer Adrian, said: “My niece, Megan, who lives in Derby, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 14 years ago when she was nine years old. Over the years she has benefited from Diabetes UK support, starting with trips to residential outdoor activity centres when she was a teenager along with other young people living with diabetes. She has also contacted the Helpline on several occasions.

What really motivates me is the pioneering world-class research which Diabetes UK funds. The impact of this research can improve the lives of people all over the globe. Research has already benefited Megan with better treatments and technologies available to help her live well. Adrian

"It’s exciting to look ahead to what might be possible in the future with advancing technologies such as closed-loop systems and an artificial pancreas. It’s so important that people continue to support diabetes research that can help so many people to live healthier and happier lives.”

People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable. It’s the most common type of diabetes in children and young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly. Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses – taken either by injections or via an insulin pump.

Raised in Cumbria, Adrian has a long held affinity for outdoor sports following in his mountaineering parents’ footsteps. His parents lived for many years in Largs but sadly his father passed away due to a head injury sustained in a fall while hillwalking on A’Chrois in Arrochar. Adrian’s mother moved to England to be close to her other sons. This will be Adrian’s first time back in Scotland since his mother moved south.

The Great Glen Challenge is a 92km race across the width of Scotland taking in some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. For those taking on the non-stop challenge along with Adrian, the first four hours will be in complete darkness with the possibility of strong wind and waves.

Adrian said: “I’ve always enjoyed outdoor sports, starting with hill walking and mountaineering with my parents. My love of water sports started back in the 80s and I completed the Royal Yachting Association windsurfing instructor course on Cumbrae. I began paddleboarding in 2007 in North Carolina and since then I’ve enjoyed taking on various challenges. In addition to the English Channel crossing, I’ve paddled 27 miles between the Hawaiian islands of Maui and Molokai and every year I take part in a 31 mile race in Tennessee.

“This paddle across Scotland will be by far the furthest I have ever paddled. With the open waters of Loch Ness, Loch Oich and Loch Lochy, as well as paddling some of the distance in the dark, I can expect some challenging conditions that I haven’t experienced before.”

Diabetes UK is the UK’s leading charitable funder of diabetes research. We improve lives through pioneering research into all forms of diabetes and diabetes related complications. Research findings helps us understand the causes of diabetes, bring about life changing breakthroughs in care, treatment and prevention, and, eventually, lead us to a cure.

Angela Mitchell, National Director at Diabetes Scotland, said: “Thank you so much to Adrian for taking on this immense challenge to support Diabetes UK. The work we do to support people living with diabetes, campaign for improved care and fund ground-breaking research would not be possible without the commitment and generosity of our amazing fundraisers.

“We wish the best of luck to Adrian and hope he enjoys taking part in this challenge in such a beautiful area of Scotland.”

You can sponsor Adrian at:



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