An inspirational professional cyclist who is living with diabetes visited KGH today (Tuesday) as part of nationwide tour aimed at raising awareness of how best to cope with the condition.
Aaron Perry – who rides for Team Novo Nordisk – gave a speech at the hospital’s Diabetes Centre as part of health promotion work during Diabetes Week.
The event was attended by patients, hospital and community diabetes staff, and people including Kettering’s deputy mayor Cllr James Burton.
Mr Perry, 29, said: “From the age of 15 I have been a competitive cyclist and at 16 I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
“It was a hurdle but I haven’t let it get in the way of my dreams - and that was my main message today.
“I competed at mountain biking for New Zealand and as a team Novo Nordisk cyclist.
“I want to inspire people, especially younger people, to chase their dreams.
“If you live sensibly and moderately with your diabetes you can be a high level athlete whether that is in football, rugby, cycling or any other sphere.
“You just need to be determined and never give up.”
Kettering General Hospital consultant paediatrician Gomathi Margabantu - who has a special interest in diabetes - said: “We were delighted to host and support this event which is helping to raise awareness around diabetes.
“It was a privilege to hear from Mr Perry who has managed his diabetes very well and become an acclaimed international cyclist.
“I would like to emphasise to all our young patients the importance of optimising their blood sugar levels.
“Diabetes should not stop them from following their dream to be anybody or to aspire to achieve anything.
“It was inspirational to see representatives of a team of athletes who are successfully managing diabetes and competing athletically at a high level.
“Local people can learn from this approach – Healthy living, positive mind set and well managed diabetes means any dream is feasible.”
Team Novo Nordisk is a global all-diabetes sports team of cyclists, triathletes and runners sponsored by the global healthcare company Novo Nordisk which aims to help people to tackle their health problems.
The national tour involves two Team Novo Nordisk riders (Aaron Perry and Justin Morris) cycling 700km in relay from Gatwick to Leeds over five days via five cities during Diabetes Week.
At stages throughout the relay they are taking part in the awareness lectures.