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Reach the sky with JDRF

26 October 2012

Duxford Airfield’s Imperial War Museum was the setting for Flying with Diabetes Day last Saturday. The event was organised by Douglas Cairns, former RAF pilot instructor and holder of multiple aviation speed records, for JDRF. The event, supported by Sanofi, Dexcom and Medtronic, attracted 150 air enthusiasts keen to meet Douglas, who has lived with type 1 diabetes since 1989. He recently added a new record to his collection after leading a UK Diabetes Formation Flight along with five other pilots with diabetes - setting a new national formation speed record. 

The day featured talks from record-setting pilots with diabetes, plus Colin Roland, a marathon runner and torch bearer during the Olympic celebrations, and cyclist Melissa Ford, who both shared their type 1 diabetes stories.  There was also a presentation by leading Endocrinologist and Senior Lecturer at Bristol University, Dr Rob Andrews.

 Mad Science provided entertainment for younger children, and visitors also had the chance to walk through the cabin of a Concorde supersonic aircraft. 

Organiser Douglas Cairns said:

'I wanted to organise a day that brings my two passions together, flying and raising awareness of type 1 diabetes, in the hope that one day JDRF will find the cure. Seeing people chatting and asking questions at the exhibitor stands, and people's positive reactions to the talks, particularly Colin Rowland's, were the high points for me.'

Caroline Horwood, Diabetes Division Director at Sanofi said:

'We were delighted and proud to be able to support Douglas’ Flying with Diabetes event. Sanofi is a company that is committed to working to make a difference to the lives of people with diabetes and those that care for them, and we are fully aligned with raising awareness of type 1 diabetes with JDRF at this exciting and innovative event.'

For further information about Flying with Diabetes Day please visit

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