DRWF travelling with diabetes campaign supported by award-winning type 1 diabetes pilot
Douglas said: “It was a very bitter blow. On the same day I was literally told by the doctor that I had type 1 diabetes, and I used to be a pilot. With the risk of going low on blood sugar, my flying days were over.”
Following improvements in treatment and changes in the law, Douglas became the first pilot with type 1 diabetes to complete a round-the-world flight in 2003.
He co-founded the campaign group Pilots with Diabetes, to advocate for others in his position to fly privately and professionally worldwide.
Douglas has completed further challenges to prove that diabetes is no barrier to ambition or capability – among them, landing at the north pole and smashing the record for landing in every state in the US, from 15 days to five.
Douglas said: “It was lots of challenging, endurance related projects, which would highlight what we can do with diabetes – it need not limit the scope of anyone's dreams and ambitions. When it comes to travelling, whether you are a pilot or a passenger, as long as you are well prepared and thinking ahead, there is no need to get concerned about it at all."
Sarah Tutton, Chief Executive of DRWF, said: “Diabetes is a complex condition that can be both life limiting and life threatening, but all types of diabetes can be managed effectively with early diagnosis, the right treatment, information and support.
“We are delighted to be working with Bournemouth Airport because travelling can be very challenging for people with diabetes, especially when flying and having to navigate airport security while carrying medicines, wearable devices essential to insulin delivery or blood glucose monitoring and needing to carry foods to eat or drink to maintain stable blood glucose levels.”
Steve Gill, Managing Director of Bournemouth Airport, said: “We pride ourselves on supporting passengers with hidden disabilities to make their experience through the airport as safe and enjoyable as possible.
“There are a potential 60,000 people with diabetes using the airport every year.
"By working with Sarah and her team at DRWF our goal is to raise general awareness of the condition and ensure that our staff know how to provide help and support if required. It’s another example of how regional airports continually innovate to provide the highest standards of assistance and care.”
The number of people living with diabetes in the UK has more than doubled in 20 years to 4.9 million, with an estimated 537 million people affected globally.
To find out more and request a copy of the DRWF pre-travel checklist for passengers with diabetes click here
Read more about the launch of the campaign here
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