Teacher to run from Nottingham to France to support Diabetes UK

A primary school teacher is running from his hometown of Bramcote to Dunkirk to raise money for Diabetes UK and raise awareness and understanding of type 1 diabetes.

Father-of-four Andy Granville is taking on the 288 mile gruelling challenge in April and it is inspired by his youngest daughter Esmé – who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2019 aged just four years old.

People with type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin. About 8 per cent of people with diabetes have type 1. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable. It’s the most common type of diabetes in children and young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly. Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses – taken either by injections or via an insulin pump. It is also recommended to follow a healthy diet and take regular physical activity.

Andy, 36, said: “I had planned to do the challenge last April, but the coronavirus pandemic made that impossible. But I have kept up my running and training and am really hoping that I will be able to complete the challenge and raise as much money as possible  for Diabetes UK.

“It has never been more important to raise awareness and understanding of the condition. When Esmé was diagnosed it really flipped our world upside down. Nearly two years in and it is still a situation we are getting to grips with as no day is ever the same.

“We are constantly trying to do the best for her. Esmé is not aware when her blood glucose levels go low and therefore has a pump and continuous glucose monitoring technology to support with her condition.

“Esmé is the bravest person I know and she has adapted amazingly to this new way of living. She just gets on with it. So, I want to raise as much money as possible for Diabetes UK to support them in researching and supporting others with the condition.”

Diabetes UK East Midlands fundraiser Charlotte Wright said: “This year we’ve seen demand for our services reach record levels, while our own funding has been significantly impacted. More so than ever, people with diabetes need us, but we need your support to be able to continue fighting their corner.

“We want to thank Andy. Without the help of generous supporters like you, we simply would not be able to offer support to the thousands of people with diabetes contacting our helpline, to campaign to keep people with diabetes safe in the workplace, or to invest in vital research – taking us a step closer to our vision of a world where diabetes can do no harm.”

To mark the second anniversary of Esmé’s diagnosis, Andy will embark on the challenge of running from his front door to the beach at Dunkirk. He will run an average of 40 miles every day for one week.

Keen runner Andy said: “I like to push myself in various challenges as it allows me to inspire my own children and the school children. We discuss determination and how if things get hard, you persevere and don’t give up. In 2019 I ran an Ultra marathon of 93 miles around Snowdonia to raise money for the school to buy a defibrillator – I raised over £2,000. I am looking forward to this challenge and the reason is the most important to me to date.”

To sponsor Andy visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mrg-runs-to-france 

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