An 80-year-old man with Type 1 diabetes is running the JCP Swansea Half Marathon for Diabetes UK Cymru. He is one of a team of 88 runners with the condition aiming to help the charity break a world record at this year’s race.
Anthony Fisher, from Gloucestershire, was diagnosed in 1977. Since then he has run more than 70 half marathons, as well as running the London Marathon in 1991, aged 53. He is running to show others with the condition that it should not stop them from being active and enjoying exercise, as well as the difference that diabetes technology can make.
“The diagnosis was a real shock. My children were only five and eight years old at the time, the same ages that my sister and I were when our father passed away. I was determined to be around for my children, and my wife, Liz.”
A keen cross-country runner as a child, Anthony rediscovered his enthusiasm for the sport soon after he was diagnosed.
“Running was something I could fit around my family life and running my own business. In 1991, I ran the London Marathon to show others with Type 1 that it is no barrier to sport. It was an enormous challenge. I had to test my blood glucose levels while running and remember dropping glucose tablets all over the road. You can even see blood glucose test sticks in my hand, in the photograph as I crossed the finish line.”
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. Nobody knows what causes Type 1 diabetes and it isn’t currently preventable.
Physical exercise can impact blood glucose levels, meaning people who have Type 1 diabetes must manage their insulin before, during and after exercise.
Over the years, technology has transformed the way Anthony manages his condition. He uses a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), a small device worn just under the skin. It measures blood glucose levels continuously throughout the day and night, and alerts the wearer when they are too high or too low.
Anthony connects his Continuous Glucose Monitor to a watch, enabling him to monitor his blood glucose levels in real time, which makes it much easier when exercising.
Diabetes UK Cymru set a new record for the number of people with Type 1 diabetes to run a half marathon at last year’s JCP Swansea Half Marathon when 29 took part. The charity hopes to break this record on Sunday 24 June.
Dai Williams, National Director, Diabetes UK Cymru, said,
“Anthony’s commitment to managing his Type 1 diabetes for more than 40 years is admirable, and his attitude towards staying active and spreading the word of potentially life-changing new technology is truly inspirational.
“This year’s race is not just about breaking a record: we hope to inspire others and create a community of individuals, like Anthony, who understand the challenges of life with the condition and can support each other. We are delighted to have Anthony on our team and are looking forward to cheering all our runners across the finish line on 24 June.”
For more information about this technology, visit www.bgonmywatch.com.
For more information about Diabetes UK Cymru, visit www.diabetes.org.uk/in_your_area/wales.
The JCP Swansea Half Marathon is a fast, flat road race on a course that is perfect for beginners, and first time half marathon runners. Headline charity places are available via our website for Alzheimer’s Society, Cancer Research UK and Maggie’s Cancer Centres.
Go to www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk for further race details, ‘like’ the Facebook page www.facebook.com/SwanseaHalf and follow @Swansea_HM #Run5wansea on Twitter and @swanseahalfmarathon on Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest news about the JCP Swansea Half Marathon.