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I'm taking up this challenge to fundraise for Diabetes Scotland

Chris is tackling one of the toughest cycling challenges to raise awareness of diabetes.

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Chris Wood, aged 27, will be taking part in the 2015 Scottish Enduro series, a mountain bike race spread over six venues throughout the country.

Chris is hoping to raise both money and awareness for Diabetes Scotland while undertaking the challenge.

First diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes after a long spell of illness at the age of four, Chris lost half of his body weight and came close to losing his life.

Adjustment to living with the condition was naturally hard for Chris and his family. “My diet and lifestyle was totally dictated by my condition with prescribed meals and play times," says Chris.

"I will always remember going for a meal with my parents at a local restaurant where the chef had become a family friend.

As reward for eating all my tea, the chef produced the biggest Knickerbocker glory I had ever seen (I'd recently learnt the word from Paddington Bear!), purely out of his own goodwill and not on any menu, only for it to be sent back because my meal had already taken up my carb intake.

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I'm not sure whether it was me or the chef that was more disappointed, but we were both pretty unhappy!"

“As I got a bit older I started doing my own insulin but a few mishaps made me terrified of the syringe and dread every injection. Diabetes seemed to affect literally everything I did or didn't do and was never far from my mind. 

“By the time I was a teenager I had a nice digital blood test meter that fitted in my pocket (I could actually understand the readings) and a premixed insulin pen with a tiny needle I barely felt which fitted in the same pocket.

"Admittedly most people knew me and understood my diabetes quite well after years, but there certainly seemed to be much more understanding of the condition and far fewer questions by the time I was in my teens.It seemed far less intrusive on my life and my treatment was far more discreet and much quicker.

“The Enduro format has really motivated me to get back on the bike properly and having such a great cause to do it for is a real bonus. I have spoken to many people living with diabetes who think a diagnosis means they can't pursue their goals, and have spoken to many more without diabetes who assume you can't lead an active lifestyle when you have it, so I want to help people understand the condition a little better.

"Whether it is reassuring someone newly diagnosed and feeling scared or educating someone who has misconceptions about diabetes, I hope sharing my story will help someone.” 

Chris will be recording the Enduro events and his training for them in a blog on hisFacebook page, along with pictures and videos, including content on how physical activity affects his diabetes, and what he can do to mitigate these effects.

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