10 August 2005: cross channel swimmer Patrick Turner, has successfully completed his attempt to swim the channel and has completed the task in just 14.5 hours.

09 August 2005: Patrick Turner, who has Type 1 diabetes, is about to face one of the greatest challenges in the UK – swimming solo across the English Channel – in order to raise money for the Stephanie Marks Appeal. Money raised from this swim will help create a specialist Diabetes Resource Centre, together with a series of satellite clinics. This will be a ground breaking ‘hub and spoke’ model of care, benefiting 450,000 people within the Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust catchment area and one of the first of its kind in the UK.

“Swimming the English Channel would knock me for six,” said Ian Botham, OBE, and Patron of the Stephanie Marks Appeal. “I live everyday with my daughter’s diabetes and it has a huge impact on our life as a family. Swimming the English Channel is an incredible achievement for Patrick and the funds raised will help us reach our goal of improving diabetes care in the UK.”

Patrick has been training for over two years and will be supported throughout the swim by a diabetes specialist nurse. Patrick will need to be carefully monitored and to have his diabetes medication throughout the swim. He will be testing his glucose levels with the Ascensia Breeze, a practical and easy to use meter that needs no coding and makes blood glucose testing simple and effortless. Patrick must have a convenient accurate meter as he will probably need to test several times during the swim.

Patrick is using a basal analogue insulin which only has to be injected once a day, usually supplemented at meal times with a fast acting analogue insulin. He finds this is the most effective and convenient therapy as it delivers a constant level of insulin over a 24 hour period without the fear of low blood sugar during his training.

"Patrick has intelligently altered his diabetes regime and food intake since he started to train, so that he can optimize his physical performance, and avoid hypoglycaemia," said Dr Ian Gallen, Diabetes Centre, Wycombe Hospital. "He has altered his basal insulin to try to closely mimic the body's natural release of insulin during the day. Motivating patients to be in control of their diabetes and having a supportive team in place can make goals such as swimming the English Channel still achievable for people living with diabetes."

 

“I was extremely surprised to learn that I was diabetic,” said Patrick. “Now, however, my diabetes is under control and I feel ready to attempt this swim. I am glad to be raising money for the Stephanie Marks Appeal and to prove that diabetes is not a reason to turn down a sporting challenge.” The Stephanie Marks Appeal was launched in June 2003 a year after 17 year-old Stephanie sadly died just days after completing her AS levels. Stephanie had Type 1 diabetes for six years. Friends and family describe her as vibrant, loving, caring and positive. Like Paddy, she epitomised optimism; to Stephanie, diabetes was merely a stumbling block that she would easily overcome in pursuit of her dream of becoming a doctor. It is predicated that three million people in the UK will have diabetes by 2010. The Appeal aims to raise £2.5million to build and equip a dedicated Diabetes Resource Centre in the grounds of St. Peter’s Hospital in Surrey. This is a community-wide project which will ensure that the much-needed infrastructure to manage diabetes is put in place.

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