A month of diabetes activities

November is Diabetes Awareness Month when a host of activities to raise funds to combat the disease and to raise awareness of its dangers are held throughout Cayman.

One of the most energetic and ambitious activities this year is a 100-mile around Grand Cayman by three ultra-runners – James Murray, Lisa Smith-Batchen and Gerry Martinez.

The trio will set off with a group of other runners taking part in the Cayman Islands Diabetes Association 5k Fun Run to raise funds for the Association. Once they’ve put the first five kilometres, or three miles, behind them, the three runners will continue to hotfoot it around the Island, hoping to finish their run the same day.

Mr. Murray, a Cayman Islands resident who works for Intertrust, the sponsor of this year’s Cayman Islands Marathon, is the brainchild behind the 100-mile run, which he has dubbed “A Crazy Idea”.

He said he organised it to raise awareness of diabetes, from which several people in his office suffer, and also to try to encourage more people to get “outside their comfort zone” to take part in this year’s marathon.

“I thought, what can we do to raise the profile of the Cayman Islands Marathon, help the community and raise money for charity at the same time?,” said Mr. Murray.

Every Thursday in the run-up to the marathon, he writes a column, which is published in the Caymanian Compass, giving training tips for runners as well as a weekly training schedule for those taking part in the half-marathon for the first time.

Another sporting event to raise funds and awareness of diabetes is the John Bunton Memorial Stand Up Paddle Board fundraiser on Saturday, 5 November. The paddle board event is being held in memory of John Bunton, founder of Mega Systems, who died in November 2007 from a heart attack and complications from diabetes.

Paddlers on the three-mile course will begin at Public Beach and paddle to Royal Palms and back.

Registration fees for the two tier event is $25 or $35 with board and paddle rental. For tickets, contact [email protected] or call 926-8000. Proceeds of this event will be donated to the Cayman Islands Diabetes Charitable Trust.

Also on Saturday, 5 November, a musical evening of rhythm and blues called Blues on the Roof will be held at the Roof Top Lounge to raise funds for the Cayman Islands Diabetes Association. Tickets cost $25 and the evening kicks off at 6.30pm. Tickets are available at Le Classique and Arabus, or by calling 916-0995 or emailing [email protected]

Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases in Cayman, with 5.8 per cent of Health Services Authority patients seen in the past year suffering from the disease.

The disease occurs when a person’s body has elevated blood sugar levels and is unable to make its own insulin or does not respond to insulin.