A keen gamer from Skewen is gearing up for a 24-hour sponsored gameathon to raise money for Diabetes UK Cymru.
Eric Taviner, 29, an IT Administrator for Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 16. His mother, Janette, also has the condition.
Eric said, “My mum noticed I was very thirsty and lethargic, which are two of the most common symptoms of Type 1 diabetes. She tested my blood sugars and took me straight to the doctor, who sent us to Neath Port Talbot Hospital for urgent attention.
“Life with Type 1 diabetes can feel overwhelming and to begin with I struggled, but now it is second nature. I wanted to support Diabetes UK Cymru and show others with the condition that they are not alone. It may seem overwhelming, but you can do it.”
Eric will be live-streaming his 24-hour gameathon on Twitch, a social online video platform which broadcasts around the world. Viewers will be able to send Eric messages and donate online as he teams up with friends and family for games including Fortnite, Call of Duty and Counter-Strike.
Eric continued, “Computer games have been there for me when I’ve been unwell in the past and given me a chance to escape when my condition has got the better of me. This is an opportunity to use a passion of mine for a positive cause.
“To make it more exciting, I’ll be offering sponsors the chance to affect how I play and win prizes donated by local businesses. I’ll also be monitoring my blood sugar levels throughout the event and making sure I have something to eat or drink when I need to.”
People with Type 1 diabetes don’t produce the hormone insulin, which controls the amount of glucose in the blood, so they must receive it via regular injections or via a pump. If not managed well, diabetes can lead to devastating complications, including sight loss, amputation, kidney failure and stroke.
Nobody knows what causes Type 1 diabetes and it is not currently preventable. There are around 1,400 children and young people and 18,900 adults living with Type 1 diabetes in Wales.
Joseph Cuff, Fundraising Manager, Diabetes UK Cymru, said, “Life with Type 1 diabetes can be challenging, but it’s inspiring to see Eric using his favourite pastime to raise funds and awareness for others living with the condition. We wish him all the best with his 24-hour challenge!”
The gameathon starts at midday on Friday 22 February and finishes 24 hours later. To watch the challenge live on Twitch, visit www.twitch.tv/tipner . To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/erictaviner.