Stotfold family cycle 500 miles around Scottish coast for Diabetes UK

PUBLISHED: 12:53 04 October 2018

The Shaw family took on the North Coast 500 challenge and raised more than  £5,000 for Diabetes UK in memory of brother and uncle Neil. Picture: Courtesy of Diabetes UK

The Shaw family took on the North Coast 500 challenge and raised more than £5,000 for Diabetes UK in memory of brother and uncle Neil. Picture: Courtesy of Diabetes UK

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A Stotfold family and a close friend have completed a gruelling 500-mile bike ride around the coast of Scotland to raise money for Diabetes UK.

The money raised will go towards researtch, care services and campaigns for those living with diabetes, Picture: Courtesy of Diabetes UKThe money raised will go towards researtch, care services and campaigns for those living with diabetes, Picture: Courtesy of Diabetes UK

Graeme Shaw, his sons William and Anthony, and best friend Keith Miller, took up the challenge in memory of Graeme’s brother Neil.

Father-of-two Neil Shaw had lived with Type 1 diabetes for 20 years when he died following a heart attack in October 2015.

Graeme said: “Neil was a very charismatic character who was loved by many people and is greatly missed.

“It was thinking of him and the other people who live with this condition who kept us going on some tough days.

The Shaw family took on the North Coast 500 challenge and raised more than  £5,000 for Diabetes UK in memory of brother and uncle Neil. Picture: Courtesy of Diabetes UKThe Shaw family took on the North Coast 500 challenge and raised more than £5,000 for Diabetes UK in memory of brother and uncle Neil. Picture: Courtesy of Diabetes UK

“I’m very grateful to Keith and my sons for taking on this once-in-a-lifetime experience with me.”

Neil’s family knew the impact the condition had on his life at times – which included serious injuries from seizures following hypos – but they were shocked to learn how devastating the condition can be if not managed well.

If not managed well, diabetes can lead to heart disease, kidney failure and amputations.

Graeme’s wife Elizabeth supported the four cyclists for the whole trip by providing food, drinks, medical supplies and their bed every night.

She said: “We were totally shocked when Neil died. We knew living with diabetes had been tough for him at times, but I don’t think any of us realised how serious it could be.

“We wanted to raise money for Diabetes UK to support their amazing work, but also raise awareness of the condition. I don’t think many people realise that you can be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as an adult.

“It was hard for him to have good control of the condition at times and we will never truly know if this led to his heart attack, but we do know that the better you manage your diabetes, the less chance there is of developing complications.”

The group tackled the North Coast 500 over nine days and raised £5,430 for Diabetes UK.

They cycled around 70 miles a day and faced some steep climbs, including the tough Bealach na Bà.

To support Graeme, William, Anthony and Keith, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/neil-4for1cyclingnorthcoast500

For more information about diabetes visit diabetes.org.uk.

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