Against all odds - The New Indian Express

Against all odds

Published: 18th July 2014 07:49 AM

Last Updated: 18th July 2014 07:49 AM

HYDERABAD: Will Power can indeed go a long way in helping people achieve extraordinary things deemed incapable of being achieved otherwise. Continuing its commitment to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes (T1D) Sanofi, in partnership with World Diabetes Tour (WDT), has announced that Type 1 diabetic Eshaan Shevate from India will be participating in the ‘Type 1 Diabetes Challenge’  trek to Machu Picchu’, Peru.

An engineering student from Pune, 19-year-old Eshaan is the youngest member in the 12 member strong international team to go on the trek (10 of whom have type 1 diabetes). Eshaan was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 12. Since then, despite a host of challenges he has lived a happy, normal life and loves to swim, skate and play hockey. He has represented Pune at state level swimming competitions and won a gold medal in skating at district level.

Starting their trek from July 20 along the famous Salkantay route from the city of Cusco, the team will reach the legendary ancient Inca settlement Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World on July 25.

From a variety of different backgrounds, ages and trekking experience, the team members will walk for over eight hours a day through the high jungle habitat of the Andes, travelling more than 70 kilometers to reach their goal. Managing their diabetes under these circumstances is only one of the challenges this team will face. In addition to arduous terrain and cold temperatures, they will reach altitudes of up to 4,600 meters on route to their destination, exposing themselves to the risk of altitude sickness. They will have to deal with this on a day-to-day basis, while also managing their diabetes to maintain blood glucose levels.

Representing eight countries across four continents, the team aims to demonstrate a positive attitude to type 1 diabetes and show the global type 1 diabetes community that by striving for control of their diabetes, they can dare to dream.

In India, diabetes is a major public health challenge and globally, the country is ranked second at present. While Type 2 diabetes has received considerable attention in interventions, it has not been so for juvenile or Type 1 diabetes.

 To catch the team’s day to day progress towards Machu Picchu, follow them @T1DChallenge on Twitter.

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