Diabetes Ireland: Who Needs Public Transport to get to Work?
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Kevin O’Connell who has type 1 diabetes will undertake a 200km charity run to and from his workplace, West Pharma Blanchardstown, Dublin for the month of July in support of Diabetes Ireland.
Kevin said “with the current easing of restrictions and workplaces opening again, there is an uneasiness felt by a lot of people about using public transport and having to make decisions on alternative transport options so I decided to take on this challenge to show that running to and from work is an alternative option”.
An employee of West Pharma in Blanchardstown, Dublin, which supports the development of 90% of current diabetes technology, Kevin O’Connell will run about 13km each day on top of 12-hour shifts, managing his blood glucose levels and his insulin as required. During this 200km challenge, Kevin will be using the latest technology, the Freestyle Libre, to monitor his diabetes each day.
“Many things can affect my blood glucose levels. People generally know that diet and exercise can do so, but other things such stress, tiredness, mental fatigue can also affect my glucose levels at any time, even when you are sleeping, so you need to be aware of your levels and be ready to take action and react accordingly. Through this challenge, I hope to inspire people with diabetes and everyone else to maybe avoid taking transport and walk, run and cycle to work” added Kevin.
Kevin was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on November 14th November 2005, the most important date in the diabetes community as it coincides with the birthday of Frederick Banting who discovered insulin which gives life to millions of people with diabetes worldwide.
While in secondary school Kevin recalls that during this time was quite tough as the priority was trying to fit in, make friends and not to be different from anyone else. Kevin highlights that while having diabetes, his life has not changed very much. He still got the opportunity to complete a skydive, go skiing, enjoy foreign holidays, complete courses like Hell & Back and Tough Mudder. He keeps himself active by going to the gym, going for runs in the park, exercising at home, and playing sports. Kevin also likes to go out socialising with his friends and is aware of excess food or drink when taking insulin.
Diabetes Ireland CEO Kieran O’Leary said “we are delighted Kevin is doing this challenge for us. In terms of his diabetes management, the daily run to and from work will present extra challenges in terms of his diabetes management and each day this will be different, and he will have to adjust accordingly. So, it’s not just a physical challenge but a diabetes management challenge as well and we wish him well.
Join and support Kevin on his journey throughout these dates and consider ditching the car or public transport for the month of July?