Kevin O’Connell, who has Type 1 Diabetes, has decided to ditch his car for the month of July and run to and from work and raise funds for Diabetes Ireland. He will run over 200km during the month while also working 12 hour shifts each day, managing his blood glucose levels and his insulin needs accordingly.
Kevin is an employee of West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. in Damastown, Dublin. West is a global leader in innovative solutions for injectable drug administration and plays an important role in finding solutions and delivering value for our global healthcare system. The site in Dublin supplies high-quality molding and assembly solutions to produce medical devices such as auto injectors and continuous glucose monitoring systems for the diabetes market.
Nurturing a culture of philanthropy and community involvement is one of the defining characteristics of our company. West and its employees endeavour to build upon our culture of giving back by demonstrating a commitment to the communities in which we live and work through financial support and volunteerism. “The Dublin site is extremely proud of our own history of giving back to the local community and we are delighted to be able to support Kevin as he strives to raise much needed funds for Diabetes Ireland” said Tom Clarke, Site Director, West Dublin.
With people with diabetes classed as a high-risk group for COVID 19 and accounting for approximately 6% of all diagnosed cases of the disease, Kevin has decided to avoid transport to undertake this challenge.
“With the current easing of restrictions and workplaces opening again, there is an uneasiness felt by a lot of people about using public transport and having to make decisions on alternative transport options so I decided to take on this challenge to show that running to and from work is an alternative option” said Kevin.
Diagnosed on 14 November 2005, the most important date in the diabetes community as it coincides with the birthday of Frederick Banting who discovered insulin which gives life to millions of people with diabetes worldwide, Kevin will be using the latest technology, the Freestyle Libre, to monitor his diabetes each day.
“Many things can affect my blood glucose levels. People generally know that diet and exercise can do so, but other things such stress, tiredness, mental fatigue can also affect my glucose levels at any time, even when you are sleeping, so you need to be aware of your levels and be ready to take action and react accordingly. Through this challenge, I hope to inspire people with diabetes and everyone else to maybe avoid taking transport and walk, run and cycle to work” added Kevin.
Diabetes Ireland CEO Kieran O’Leary said “we are delighted Kevin is doing this challenge for us. In terms of his diabetes management, the daily run to and from work will present extra challenges in terms of his diabetes management and each day this will be different, and he will have to adjust accordingly. So, it’s not just a physical challenge but a diabetes management challenge as well and we wish him well”.
To donate to Kevin’s Challenge, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/200km-run4diabetes