Two men from Banbury with different types of diabetes have urged those with the condition to get active ahead of a ‘health walk’ to raise awareness.
The chairman of Diabetes UK’s support group in Banbury, Darryl Timmins, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1985 when he was 21 and after a decade of ignoring his condition, he decided to do something about it.
“After 10 years of neglect and four laser eye surgery operations I didn’t realise I could turn it around this much,” he said.
“I started weight management courses and slowly introduced more activity into my daily life. Now I scuba dive, play golf, ski and walk lots – the best thing is I enjoy it!
“I could not have done these 15 years ago. I feel so grateful for all the support from the NHS that I wanted to give something back so I started volunteering for Banbury and District Diabetes UK Group and became chair."
Cudgie Smith was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes a year ago but he realised he could manage it with a few lifestyle and diet changes.
“I always say to people, ‘If you are prepared to go out there and fight it then you will get results. If you can make small changes and exercise just a little bit more you can take control, don’t be embarrassed,” he said.
“I am on a mission. I walk with an extra spring in my step now, I am more confident and much happier in myself, you can beat this and make a difference to how you live."
The group supported Oxfordshire Sport and Physical Activity and others in promoting a five-kilometre walk in Bicester on Saturday, November 25, to raise awareness of how exercise can help against diabetes.