Two men who have lived with type 1 diabetes for a combined 100 years have climbed the highest peak in south Wales, with the message that living with type 1 diabetes should not prevent people from taking on challenges they’d always dreamed of.
Paul Coker and Peter Davies conquered Pen-y-Fan, in the Brecon Beacons, last weekend. For Paul this was one of many challenges to mark his 40th diaversary – the anniversary of his diagnosis with type 1.
Paul is 44 years old and lives in south Wales with his wife and two daughters and has had type 1 since he was four years old.
Pete, a 62-year-old father of two, lives in Surrey and will have had type 1 for 60 years on Monday 28th November.
Paul is marking his 40th diaversary by running 40 half marathons during 2016-17. Pete meanwhile is now finalising plans for a high-altitude trek in and around the Peruvian Rainbow Mountains in June of next year – the trek will rise to an altitude of 17,056 feet.
The diaversary duo were originally set to be joined in the climb by long-standing JDRF supporter Colin Rowland, who is this year marking his own 50th diaversary. Colin unfortunately picked up an injury competing in the New York Marathon, where he was raising funds for JDRF as the final challenge in a year of epic fundraising. Colin’s incredible year has seen him run marathons in Berlin, London and Paris as well as New York and undertake other challenges including the Three Peaks Challenge and Henley Mile Swim.
Colin, Pete and Paul all took part in the JDRF Kilimanjaro challenge in 2014, as part of the largest ever group living with type 1 diabetes to climb Africa’s tallest mountain.
Pete and Paul climbed Pen-y-Fan to send an encouraging message to young people and young families who are affected by type 1 diabetes. Their message, one that Colin has echoed throughout his year of challenges, was:
Don’t let type 1 stand in your way, you can still take on the challenges you have always dreamed of and achieve great things!