Inspiring Pedal Power Spreading the Message About Diabetes Across Europe

Inspire by doing something is a quote that I heard the other day. Along my diabetes journey so far, I've met many inspirational people with the condition. They've come from all walks of life and each has a different story to tell. But on this account the inspiring people don't actually have diabetes themselves, but their doing something great on behalf of those who do.

Whilst at the IDF Europe Leadership camp in Italy it was a great pleasure to meet so many different people from around Europe. Two of those were Katie and Sophie- two great women who work for the International Diabetes Federation in Brussels. Some would call them brave and some might say how much they like a challenge. But this event sounds as though it is going to be the challenge of their lives, because along with 100 other cyclists the two are going to be cycling from Brussels to Barcelona!

The journey from Brussels to Barcelona is made of amateur cyclists and is expected to take them up to 2 weeks in total, covering a staggering distance of over 2,100km. It will take in numerous countries including Belgium, Luxemberg, Germany, France and Spain. The riders are expected to reach Barcelona on the 18th of September and will even take in some of the routes that the professional cyclists rode in the infamous Tour de France cycling race. And the reason that their doing all of this? Is to raise awareness of the condition of diabetes and draw attention to the fact that just because you have diabetes, doesn't mean that it has to stop you doing anything.

Katie and Sophie have partnered up with Team Blood Glucose (blog on them coming soon) which takes their team to 20 rider's. Team Blood Glucose is a professional cycling team made up of athletes with Type 1 diabetes. So together I know the team will be able to spread the positive message about diabetes, achievement and sport.

The IDF estimates that worldwide there are 371 million people with diabetes. 55 million of those live in Europe, which is a massive 8.5% of that population who have diabetes. If undiagnosed or not treated well diabetes can be a very serious condition leading to numerous complications including blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputations. There was another fantastic quote that I heard whilst at the IDF camp that me describes diabetes perfectly. It went that...

"...when looked after well diabetes is a kitten, but when it is neglected and not looked after diabetes becomes a lion."

Cycling for charity is something that's very close to my heart, as my Dad and his work colleague decided to cycle the length of Wales a couple of years ago. Taking in the scenes of Wales and travelling over 200 miles to raise money for Diabetes UK and to take their message about raising awareness of diabetes around the country. It was such a massive kindness that they were willing to physically exert themselves to this extent, to help the diabetes cause. And the same can be said for Katie, Sophie and Team BG. I wish them every success on their journey and can't wait to hear about their tales, trials and tribulations along the way. If you'd like to follow their progress along the amazing journey here are a few options. You can follow their journey regularly through their blog, through their facebook page or you can follow them on twitter.


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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