Simon turns heads for Diabetes UK

A THORNBURY man with type one diabetes has raised more than £2,000 for Diabetes UK after turning his hair blue.

Welding engineer Simon Chilcott decided to show his support for the charity by adopting its blue corporate colour for his crowning glory for a whole month.

Simon, 45, was diagnosed with his condition when he was 14. It means his body cannot produce insulin so he currently receives the hormone through a pump.

The cause of type one diabetes is not known but it is not connected to being overweight and cannot be prevented.

Simon first had his hair bleached and then dyed in order to get a suitably bright shade of blue.

He said: "The idea started off as a dare at work and then turned into a month-long blue hair challenge.

"My three decades with diabetes made me keen to raise money for Diabetes UK as this amazing charity has supported me through some very difficult experiences during the last few years.

“In general my diabetes is well managed but I have still had problems along the way.

"I have had quite a few chest infections, including pneumonia, which put me in hospital, and a severe hypo when my blood glucose level went dangerously low, which led to a serious injury.

"However, being on a pump for my insulin has been fantastic, giving me much better control over my diabetes and has made a huge difference to my health."

Simon works for EDF Energy, which was happy to see him go blue for December and also sponsored him.

Hairdressing salon Head Case in Gloucester dyed Simon's hair for free and Linela Embroidery printed special T-shirts without charge.

Frances Collier, fund raising manager for Diabetes UK in the South West, said: "We want to thank Simon for carrying out this brilliant fundraising challenge.

"He has raised vital funds for Diabetes UK, which will help our work caring for and campaigning on behalf of more than 14,000 people affected by diabetes in South Gloucestershire.”

Anyone who wants to support Simon can make a donation through http://www.justgiving.com/Simon-Chilcott

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