Bank on us to support each other

From left, Murray Reid, Phil Derbyshire and Jill Jeffries

From left, Murray Reid, Phil Derbyshire and Jill Jeffries

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IF Murray Reid needs someone to talk to about his recently diagnosed diabetes, he doesn’t have far to look.

Despite the illness only affecting one in every 175 people, there are two others in his 30-strong team at work who have the type 1 condition.

Now the trio, along with ten other colleagues, are taking part in a 50-mile Glasgow-to-Edinburgh cycle to raise money to combat the condition.

Mr Reid, from Dalry, began experiencing the symptoms at the beginning of last year, including extreme thirst which “no amount of fluids would quench” and sudden weight loss.

But after diagnosis he learned that fellow project managers at RBS, Jill Jeffries and Phil Derbyshire, also suffered from the illness.

“It’s only a small team of about 30 so you wouldn’t really expect anyone else to be in that position,” said Mr Reid, who found out he had the disease in March 2010.

“It wasn’t until I’d been diagnosed and chatted to people about it that I realised two others were the same.

“At that point we realised it must have been quite rare for three people to have type 1 out of a team of 30. That helped me a lot, just to talk about it with others who were affected.”

He now has to take four insulin jabs a day, constantly monitor his blood sugar levels and carefully assess every meal before he consumes it.

That change in his life has been made more bearable by Ms Jeffries, 42, from the Gyle, who was diagnosed two and a half years ago, and Mr Derbyshire, 41, from Cammo, who has lived with it since the age of 19.

“We decided we wanted to do something, and considered dress-down days or some kind of homebaking sale,” Mr Reid added. “In the end we went for this cycle because a lot of others in the office wanted to do something to help too.

“It’s not exactly running up Mount Everest but it will still be a challenge that takes a bit of preparation in the lead up to it.”

The group has set a £4000 fundraising target and chosen to give the proceeds to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which focuses specifically on the type 1 variation of the disease. The foundation’s development manager, Alastair Brookes, said: “We exist to find the cure for type 1 diabetes and we can only do this through new research, which takes money, so we welcome these fundraising efforts.

“The fact that these three colleagues from the same office all have type 1 diabetes is testament that the condition is on the rise and not going away.”

To donate to the cause, visit www.justgiving.com/jdrf-tate-n-lyle

amorris@edinburghnews.com