Posted on Friday 27th June 2014
Alex Collins completed this years London Marathon in a spectacular time of 2 hours 48 minutes and 29 seconds. This made even more impressive by the fact he ran in an all in one tiger outfit. This has given him an official Guinness world record for the fastest marathon ever in such an animal costume!!
Why do we mention that on a diabetes website? Well Alex was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in August 2013.
Rather than slowing Alex down his impressive endurance running appears to be going from strength to strength. Alex is aware that his diabetes is not as difficult to control as it might become as he is currently going through a classical 'honeymoon phase' where typically the pancreas continues to produce a significant amount of insulin which means he only has to take small doses of insulin by injection. Unfortunately the insulin producing cells in the pancreas usually continue to undergo further attack by the immune system after diagnosis such that they stop producing insulin altogether. With this in mind Alex is participating in a ground breaking research trial at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals which is trying to produce a type of treatment, a vaccine which will prevent this ongoing damage and preserve insulin production by the beta cells of the pancreas.
“The clinical trial is double blind which means that one in three participants are treated with a dummy treatment. If I’m lucky I’m being treated by the new drug and it may extend my honeymoon period. Another real benefit of the trial is that I spend two hours a fortnight with diabetes specialists, so I have been able to learn a huge amount about how to treat the condition.”
Read more and be inspired by Alex's blog where he discusses his experiences of type 1 diabetes and his impressive sporting activities.