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Huntly diabetic tots are the driving force for duo's coast to coast trek

By Pat Scott

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HUNTLY siblings who both have type one diabetes waved off two trekkers who are going coast to coast to raise money for the charity which aims to find a cure for the condition.

Annalise (8) and Hamish (3) Ogg were up extra to get to Girdleness Lighthouse in Aberdeen for 6am to see off their uncle, Kenny Wilson (28) and his pal Darren McWilliam (30) who are walking the 235 miles to Scotland's most westerly point, Ardnamurchan, in aid of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund, (JDRF)

They want to raise £5000 for JDRF and before leaving Kenny said that he had been inspired by Annalise to do the mammoth hike.

He said: "Annalise was diagnosed when she was 22 months old. Her resilience dealing with diabetes is truly inspiring as she takes everything thrown her way in her stride. While planning our route in November last year my nephew Hamish was taken into the hospital to find he also has type one diabetes at only 27 months old. To say the least, this further fuelled our ambition to complete the walk and try to raise as much money as possible for JDRF.”

The pair, who met while doing electrical apprenticeships at Tullos Training, started long distance walking two years ago but have not tackled such a long distance.

A gruelling training regime saw them tackle Munros, marshes and midges in abundance but the toughest challenge was the three month lockdown.

Darren said: "We knew a tough training schedule would be essential but no one could have predicted the three month lockdown which forced us to train indoors using our livingrooms, stairways and gardens to improve our stamina.

The pair were assisted in planning their route by family friend Bill Grant who is joining Kenny's parents, Audrey and Alastair as back up crew for the duration of the trek.

They spent their first night in Aboyne and with 55 miles clocked up camped on Tuesday night at Loch Muick, aiming for another 25 miles to the Linn of Dee on Wednesday, before continuing through the Cairngorms, to Aviemore and Fort William,then onto old drove roads to the finish in Ardnamurchan next Friday.

Kenny said that they had been enjoying meeting other walkers and sharing their story with them.

He said: "We have even had donations from strangers. After two days on tarmac we are looking forward to hiking up hill and enjoying the scenery from Lochnagar. By the end of today we should be about a third of the way there at 79 miles.

"The support from family, friends and all the people who have donated so far keeps us going as well as our determination to smash our fundraising target."

Annalise and Hamish are among 29,000 children living with type one diabetes.

Both children lead lives like their contemporaries despite wearing pumps which administer the insulin which their pancreas doesn't produce.

Lisa explained: "Annalise has a good understanding of her diabetes and does her own finger prick blood test and puts that information into her insulin pump - someone checks it but he manages her condition very well.

"She does everything that other kids do - dances, swims, runs about, enjoys school. Hamish has just started nursery and is in good hands as they looked after Annalise too. Annalise and Hamish keep well - we don't let their diabetes hold them back.""

Lisa and dad Gavin are responsible for changing cannulas for the youngsters every three daysand replace blood glucose monitors on their skin every 10 to 14 days.

Lisa added: "JDRF is trying to find a cure for the condition which would be amazing. What Kenny and Darren are doing will make a difference to that research."

To support Kenny and Darren on the road to Ardnamurchan, donate via their Just Giving Page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/road-toardnamurchan.

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