Sam joins foot­baller Scott Al­lan to set the record straight about di­a­betes

The Oban Times - - Sport -

SAM MacKin­non from Oban is sup­port­ing the char­ity Di­a­betes UK to raise aware­ness of the ill­ness and set the record straight about what it’s re­ally like to live with the con­di­tion.

Sam trav­elled to Glas­gow to join a group of chil­dren from across Scot­land with type 1 di­a­betes to play foot­ball with Celtic player Scott Al­lan, who is also liv­ing with the con­di­tion; prov­ing that hav­ing di­a­betes is not a bar­rier to play­ing sport.

Sam said: ‘I was di­ag­nosed with type 1 di­a­betes when I was eight years old. It can be an­noy­ing some­times as you have to re­mem­ber to test your blood all the time and think about what you’re eat­ing so you can take the right amount of in­sulin but it doesn’t stop me from do­ing any­thing. Some peo­ple think be­cause I have type 1 di­a­betes I can’t play sport but I play sport all the time.’

More than four mil­lion peo­ple are liv­ing with di­a­betes across the UK, in­clud­ing 276,000 in Scot­land. There are two main types of di­a­betes: type 1 di­a­betes af­fects around 10 per cent of those di­ag­nosed while type 2 di­a­betes ac­counts for al­most 90 per cent of cases.

Type 1 di­a­betes is most com­monly di­ag­nosed in chil­dren and ado­les­cents although it can de­velop at any age. It’s a con­di­tion where the body can­not pro­duce in­sulin and is treated by tak­ing daily in­sulin doses ei­ther by in­jec­tion or via an in­sulin pump. No one knows ex­actly what causes type 1 di­a­betes but it’s not caused by eat­ing too many sweets or be­ing over­weight and it isn’t cur­rently pre­ventable.

Mis­un­der­stood

De­spite its preva­lence, di­a­betes is still a very mis­un­der­stood con­di­tion with a num­ber of com­mon myths and mis­con­cep­tions. This Di­a­betes Week, Di­a­betes UK is ‘set­ting the record straight’ to raise aware­ness of the con­di­tion and let peo­ple know the truth about what it’s like to live with it ev­ery day. As part of the cam­paign Sam, Scott and chil­dren from across Scot­land with type 1 di­a­betes fea­ture in a short on­line film which Di­a­betes UK hopes will go some way to dis­pelling the myth that peo­ple with di­a­betes can’t play sport.

Park­head star Scott said: ‘It’s great that Di­a­betes UK is ‘Set­ting the Record Straight’ for this year’s Di­a­betes Week. Di­a­betes is very mis­un­der­stood and a lot of peo­ple believe the myths sur­round­ing the con­di­tion. There are some who think that peo­ple with type 1 di­a­betes can’t play sport but I think I’m an ex­am­ple of how wrong that as­sump­tion is. I’ve lived with type 1 di­a­betes since I was three, and I’ve never let it hold me back. I’m pretty sure none of the chil­dren at to­day’s event are let­ting the con­di­tion stop them from do­ing what they want to do ei­ther.

‘This Di­a­betes UK event has been ex­cel­lent – I’ve re­ally en­joyed chat­ting and play­ing foot­ball with the chil­dren. It’s been lots of fun and I hope the kids have had a good day too.’

As part of the event, Sam took part in a foot­ball coach­ing ses­sion and games at To­ry­glen Re­gional Foot­ball Cen­tre in Glas­gow, fol­lowed by a trip to the nearby Ham­p­den Mu­seum.

Sam said: ‘It was bril­liant to meet Scott be­cause he shows that it doesn’t mat­ter if you have di­a­betes. You can still do what you want to do. It’s great to see peo­ple with di­a­betes play­ing sport pro­fes­sion­ally.’

Although Sam demon­strates that di­a­betes does not have to hold you back, it is a com­plex con­di­tion which re­quires care­ful man­age­ment ev­ery day in or­der to stay healthy.

Scott added: ‘It can be tough liv­ing with type 1 di­a­betes ev­ery day but it is pos­si­ble to man­age it and live the life you want. It’s im­por­tant that peo­ple liv­ing with di­a­betes get the sup­port and in­for­ma­tion they need to live well.

Di­a­betes Scot­land runs an ex­cel­lent helpline that peo­ple can get in touch with for spe­cial­ist in­for­ma­tion and ad­vice on all as­pects of liv­ing with di­a­betes. You can call on 0141 212 8710 or email helpline.scot­land@di­a­betes.org.uk and speak to some­one who un­der­stands what it’s re­ally like to live with di­a­betes. Some­times we all need a bit of ex­tra help so it’s great to know that sup­port is just a phone call or email away.’

Sam MacKin­non pic­tured with Celtic foot­baller Scott Al­lan at To­ry­glen Foot­ball Cen­tre in Glas­gow dur­ing Di­a­betes Week.

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