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Brothers complete ride for Diabetes UK inspired by their dad

Published: 13 Aug 2014 14:300 comments

THREE members of the same family have raised more than £1,000 by cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

‘We made it’: Brian and Martin Whiteside at the end of their cycle ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats, which raised funds for Diabetes UK.

Brothers Martin and Brian Whiteside, from Birch Hill, and brother-in-law Andrew Browne, from Wokingham, took on the 888-mile challenge to fundraise for Diabetes UK.

Bob Whiteside, Martin and Brian’s father, has suffered with Type One diabetes since 1972 and it was his battle with the condition that inspired Team Bob.

Martin, 39, and Andrew, 41, cycled for 10 days last month, spending a total of 57 hours and 13 minutes in the saddle, to raise £1,084. They were joined for some sections of the trip by Brian, who spent two days on his bike. Their support crew was made up of Bob, his wife Dot and long-standing family friend Peter Hollick.

Brian, 35, said: “It was hard growing up with my dad having diabetes as he could be fine one minute then experiencing a hypo, which is low blood glucose levels, the next, but he has a fantastic outlook on life and is a real inspiration. I also have friends who have Type Two diabetes and as a team we also want to raise awareness about the importance of early diagnosis. We hope that any donations will help to find a possible cure so all the training and organisational effort for this epic cycle ride will be worthwhile.”

During the challenge, which burned a total of 49,173 calories, the trio established a routine of eating and then cycling 20 miles before stopping to refuel on more carbohydrate-based foods.

Bob has recently undergone a pancreas and liver transplant after developing complications associated with diabetes. But he still has to cope with some of the other consequences of living with the serious lifelong condition, which in his case includes having partial eyesight, experiencing strokes and using a mobility scooter because of poor circulation in his legs.

Lewis Honeywill, Diabetes UK South East regional fundraiser, said: “We thank and appreciate the fantastic fundraising achievements of the whole team.

“It is truly a massive accomplishment to have cycled that distance in aid of our charity.

“Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK today and the money raised will help improve the care and support available for people affected by the condition.”

According to Diabetes UK, diabetes is the fastest growing health threat in the UK and is a major cause of heart disease, lower limb amputation, stroke, blindness and kidney failure.

The charity works to help people manage their diabetes effectively by providing information, advice and support.

Type One diabetes is a condition that means people cannot produce insulin. No-one knows exactly what causes it, but it is not to do with being overweight and it is not currently preventable. It usually affects children or young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly.

Type Two diabetes usually appears in middle-aged or older people and occurs when the body is not making enough insulin, or the insulin it is making is not being used properly. The risk of developing Type Two diabetes can be reduced by changes in lifestyle.

To sponsor Team Bob visit www.justgiving.com/Teambob2014/

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