A young man from Caerphilly is taking on the Caerphilly 10K to support Diabetes UK Cymru in honour of his nan.
Luke Evans, 21, completed last year’s race in an impressive 44 minutes and 10 seconds. He hopes to beat his time this year as well as raise vital funds, inspired by his nan Doreen Evans’ 20-year struggle with Type 2 diabetes.
Doreen, 74, has experienced a number of diabetes-related complications over the years.
Luke, a student at the University of South Wales, said, “Nan struggles every day with her diabetes. Her condition has got worse over time and led to her developing kidney problems which means she has dialysis three times a week. She has also suffered from blood clots, which led to her losing three toes on her right foot in 2013 and sadly, losing her left leg a year later. She now uses a wheelchair.
“Nan finds life with diabetes tough but she keeps going, and our family are all there for her when she needs help. She always supported me when I was younger and now I want to try and give something back. She is my inspiration.”
People with Type 2 diabetes do not produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce does not work properly. Insulin allows the glucose in the blood to enter the cells and fuel the body. Without it, and over a long period of time, high sugar levels in the blood can seriously damage the heart, eyes, feet and your kidneys and lead to devastating complications such as kidney failure, amputation and stroke. There are more than 194,000 people in Wales living with diabetes, of which 90 per cent have Type 2 diabetes. This is the highest prevalence in the UK.
Luke only took up running last year and has been training hard for this year’s race on Sunday 19 May. He held a fundraising evening at the Mason Arms in Caerphilly earlier this month, raising £115.
Luke continued, “I’m running three times a week as well as going to the gym so that I am as ready as possible on the day. I want to give it 100%. My friends and family are really supportive and will be there to cheer me on. Raising money for a cause that has had such a huge impact on my family means so much to me. I want to make a difference to others like my nan.”
Joseph Cuff, Fundraising Manager, Diabetes UK Cymru said:
“Life with Type 2 diabetes can be tough, especially when life-changing complications start to develop. The money Luke raises will help us to support the thousands of others living with diabetes across Wales, and their families. We wish him all the best with his training and are sure that Doreen will be incredibly proud of his efforts on the day.”
To sponsor Luke, visit www.justgiving.com/Luke-Evans21.