A Busy Week....
What a week it's been!! It started with a bang- on Monday I received my official invitation to join The IDF Blue Circle Champions. There are only 16 Blue Circle Champions in the world, and they includes sport superstars such as Sir Steve Redgrave.
The IDF or International Diabetes Federation looks to its Champions to inspire almost 400 million people who are living with diabetes today, and increase awareness about this silent killer. As a Blue Circle Champion, I will have the opportunity to join and support the global network against the pandemic which Diabetes has now become. I hope to inspire and support other diabetics by being part of the effort to ensure global decision-makers put Diabetes on the top of their health agendas.
Two days later my hard working IT team comprising Ben Heron and Dave Stimson had finished their awesome website for our charity Action4diabetics.org. And so it was launch time with posts, blogs, Facebooks pages and press releases abound.
Action4Diabetics (A4D) helps to provide life giving medical care and essential development support for young people with Type 1 Diabetes in emerging countries across South East Asia. We are already funding an additional doctor at The Children’s’ Hospital in Yangon, and we have bought an HBA1c Analyser to provide free blood testing and screening, directly supporting 17 children with diabetes. This is real front line charity work.
And then at the end of week, on 26 September, I set off from my home village at 4am in 0C temps to attempt arguably the hardest amateur cycle challenge in Europe – a complete traverse of The Ecrins National Park on a road bike inside 24 hours!
What we did in numbers: 340km on a road bike in 21.5 hours, 10,706m in vertical height (Everest is 8,848m). 3 cyclists completed it all – David Pegler, Wout Van Hoof and myself – 7 alpine Cols – all to help 17 children with Diabetes for Action4Diabetics.org (A4D) ….. And it all nearly ended in disaster!
Most of the cols we cycled included those used in Le Tour De France such as Col Galibier (2642m) and Col Croix de Fer (2067m). It all went well up until 10pm Saturday night, 60 km from home – torrential downpour and storm force winds – we took shelter in a bus stop in our sodden Velcro and shivered as we gulped down steaming mugs of tea from our support team. Revived and ready we romped home completing the last 300m climb slip streaming in style! 3 months of hard training and weekly distances of 300km and 6000m of height gain had all paid off! But we were lucky. Just 3 days later most of the cols we had cycled had become engulfed in a metre of fresh snow after another savage storm.
Finally a big thank you to our Ecrins Cycle Challenge supporters – Edvige De Bardonneche, Sue and John Hare, my wife Jackie, and to my best and oldest friend Charles Toomey for helping create our charity Action4Diabetics.org.You can see more images on my Facebook, and -if you can- please donate to our Just Giving page – even if it’s just a few £s it will make a difference and you will be directly helping to save young lives.