Aidan Sutherland, who had type 1 diabetes, died recently just after his 20th birthday.
A group of five people took part in a walk to celebrate the recent opening of the new Queensferry Crossing over the River Forth in Scotland in memory of their friend Aidan Sutherland and to raise awareness about diabetes.
Aidan, of Kirkcaldy, Fife, was a young man with type 1 diabetes who died just two days after his 20th birthday.
Whilst on a trip to Newcastle Aidan fell ill and passed away on 3rd July after his blood sugar levels increased and nobody, including Aidan, knew what was happening and how to handle it.
Aidans’ family and friends were aware of how to treat the symptoms of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels) but they did not recognise the symptoms of hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar levels).
Now Aidan’s friends and family want to raise awareness about the dangers of hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar levels).
Aidan’s family have been overwhelmed by support from his friends and a number of fundraising events have been organised in his memory.
They have chosen DRWF as the charity to benefit from the various fundraising efforts they have organised in memory of Aidan. The charity aims to support those living with diabetes by creating awareness of their condition and also by funding research into finding better ways to manage the condition and hopefully eventually find a cure.
As a registered organ donor, Aidan has also touched the lives of four others who have been the recipients of organ donations.
Thanks to the support and fundraising efforts of Aidan's friends and family members, DRWF will be able to continue to fund our ongoing diabetes awareness and education programmes. We are very grateful to them for nominating us as their chosen charity.
Among the fundraising events was an opportunity for a group of five of Aidan’s friends to walk over the Queensferry Crossing – the new bridge that opened in August as the main route for traffic crossing the Forth River between Edinburgh and Fife.
The Queensferry Crossing Experience was a free event held recently to celebrate the opening of the bridge and offered a once in a lifetime opportunity for 50,000 people, to cross on foot, with more than 250,000 entries into the ballot from Scotland and the rest of the world.
Ben and Rebecca (left) and Alan, Danielle and Marcia (right) walked over the Queensferry Crossing in memory of Aidan
Among the five people who walked the Queensferry Crossing in memory of Aidan, were two of his best friends - Ben Graham and Rebecca Birrell, Aidan’s girlfriend Danielle Forster, her mother Marcia Woods and Danielle’s grandfather, Alan Forster.
The group raised more than £2,300 for DRWF by taking part in this event, which was also attended by members of Aidans’ family, who released helium balloons to fly up over the new bridge.
Aidan's family released balloons at the Queensferry Crossing
Hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar levels)
People with type 1 diabetes must regularly take insulin to control glucose levels as the body does not make any.
Consistantly high blood sugar levels can make people feel tired, thirsty and need to urinate regularly. It is important to keep well hydrated and other contributing factors, such as infections, inappropriate ‘sugary’ foods or missed medications are considered and addressed.
Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)
Symptoms of low blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia) can include if a person feels dizzy, sweaty, shaky, or lightheaded. This should be treated quickly with glucose tablets or sweets, though not chocolate.
Causes of hypoglycaemia can include if not enough sugar is consumed, when too much blood sugar is used up through increased physical activity, or diabetes medication doses are too high.
Alcohol, hot weather, diarrhoea and vomiting can also increase the risk.
Aidan Sutherland Memorial Football Match
Other fundraising activities include a memorial football match organised by Aidan’s friends and family in order to honour his memory and raise funds for the charity.
Aidan was a keen footballer and a fan of Raith Rovers Football Club, and the memorial match has been arranged to be played at Raith’s ground, Stark’s Park, on Sunday, 22nd October
Tickets for the game are available by emailing Ben Graham or Craig Lowrie
Sandy Dowie, a close friend of Aidans’ father, John, is walking from Duloch, in Dunfermline, Fife to Tynecastle Park, home of Heart of Midlothian Football Club, as part of the Dunfermline and District Hearts Supporters Club annual walk in November.