A Flackwell Heath dad, whose two sons have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, is aiming to run the equivalent of 20 half marathons during the lockdown in his back garden.
Giles Cuthbert, an account handler at a commercial printing company, decided to try the challenge after the six half marathons he had signed up for earlier in the year were suspended due to the Covid-19 outbreak. He is now filling the time by completing laps in his back garden and on the streets of Flackwell on Thursday afternoons in fancy dress, while ensuring he complies with safe social distancing measures.
His oldest son, Harvey, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2017 aged 13 and his younger son, Theo, was diagnosed with the same condition earlier this year just before his 12th birthday.
Giles, 53, who has recently been treated for head and neck cancer, said: “I’m doing most of it in the back garden which is now been converted to a 21-metre running track, drawn in chalk! I’ve already done 157 miles and would have run 262 miles by the end of the challenge in mid-June. It’s a lot of fun and the family are always there cheering me on. My sons have both managed their diabetes well during lockdown – it helps that we’ve been here to keep an eye on what they’re eating and checking their blood glucose levels. Captain Tom is my absolute inspiration – and I’ve even run in fancy dress as a cake for his hundredth birthday.”
As well as Diabetes UK, Giles is raising money for Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust Charitable Fund, British Heart Foundation, Oracle Cancer Fund and Parkinson’s UK.
Giles continued: “I’ve been furloughed at work so this keeps me busy. Motivation is not really required. When you see what is happening here and around the world, and how our brave doctors and nurses are putting their lives on the line to protect us, that’s more than enough. The NHS staff have been incredible and they were the same when I went through my cancer battle in 2016. Thanks to them I came through it, this is my chance to say thank you and help raise funds for these incredible charities and help find a cure for these diseases.”
Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. If not managed well, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications, including sight loss, amputation, kidney failure and stroke. With the right treatment and support people living with diabetes can lead a long and healthy life.
Jill Steaton, Diabetes UK Regional Head, in the South East said: “Thank you to Giles for his amazing fundraising efforts – during these uncertain times - which will help fund ground-breaking research, care services and campaigns that can change the lives of those living with diabetes.”
Giles' is aiming to raise £15,000 and has set up an online sponsorship page for donations.
Discover all the latest information and advice on Coronavirus for people with diabetes.