A diabetes consultant ran to more than 30 GP surgeries around Cardiff on Tuesday 14 November, to mark World Diabetes Day and raise awareness of Type 2 diabetes.
Dr Sam Rice is a consultant endocrinologist at Hywel Dda University Health Board. He started his challenge at 8am from the Diabetes UK Cymru office on Cowbridge Road East in Cardiff, before heading to GP surgeries all over the city, including Riverside, Canton, Grangetown, Cardiff Bay, Roath and Llanrumney.
Dr Rice visited 25 surgeries in total, running more than 30 kilmoetres. Diabetes UK Cymru supporters and people living with diabetes ran with him at various stages along the route, including his son Elgan, 10, and father, David, 70.
He completed his challenge within five hours, and finished at a special World Diabetes Day event at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
At each stop Dr Rice delivered Diabetes UK resource packs for people who have been diagnosed with diabetes or are at risk of developing the condition. He also gave out information on PocketMedic, a series of films on reducing your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The films have been created by healthcare professionals and people living with diabetes and cover a wide range of topics, from diet and exercise to medication and monitoring. The films are currently available across Wales and have been prescribed to more than 3,700 patients to date.
There are currently more than 188,000 people in Wales living with diabetes. Around 90 per cent of this number have Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes UK estimates that a further 57,000 people in Wales have Type 2 diabetes but have not yet been diagnosed, and that as many as 540,000 could be at risk of developing the condition.
If left untreated or poorly managed, Type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications such as amputation, blindness, heart attack and stroke. However, around three in five cases can be prevented or delayed by maintaining a healthy weight, eating well and being active.
Dr Rice said: “The statistics around Type 2 diabetes in Wales are really worrying. One in four of us either has the condition or is at risk of developing it, meaning we are all likely to know someone affected. Perhaps even more concerning is the amount of people who are not aware that they have the condition, putting them at risk of some very serious complications.
“I had a fantastic time doing the run. It was especially rewarding to run with people who live with diabetes. Their commitment and determination is inspirational. It was wonderful to be part of a team of people all working together to support a great cause in the capital of Wales, and all of the surgeries we visited welcomed us with open arms. We couldn’t have done it without Diabetes UK Cymru. They gave us so much guidance and support throughout our journey.”
Dai Williams, National Director, Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “World Diabetes Day is an opportunity for us to shine a spotlight on the enormous impact of Type 2 diabetes in Wales. It is vital that people understand the steps they can take to minimise or even reverse their risk and safeguard their health for the future.
“There is an overwhelming amount of information to take in, but the Pocket Medic films help get it across in an informative and engaging way, tailored to people’s individual needs.
“We’d like to thank Dr Rice for his work to highlight the support available and we were proud to cheer him on during his challenge.”
To sponsor Dr Rice, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sam-rice3.
If you are concerned about your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, use Diabetes UK’s free online Know Your Risk tool. This calculates your risk based on key factors such as age, gender, weight and ethnicity. Visit www.diabetes.org.uk/risk.
For more information about PocketMedic, visit http://ehealthdigital.co.uk/video/introducing-pocketmedic-how-to-use-for-patients/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.