Neil's ride raises type 1 diabetes awareness

FUNDRAISING: Local girls Mia Dunning and Lexie Clarke, who both live with type 1 diabetes, together with Neil McLagan. PHOTO: supplied.
FUNDRAISING: Local girls Mia Dunning and Lexie Clarke, who both live with type 1 diabetes, together with Neil McLagan. PHOTO: supplied.

When Neil McLagan stopped in Port Augusta during his bike ride from Perth to Sydney, he wanted to demonstrate to local type 1 diabetics that they can achieve all of their goals.

Raising funds for the Telethon Type 1 Diabetes Family Centre, Neil began his solo 400km trip on March 25 in hometown Perth, with an aim to finish his 20-day journey on Friday, April 13 at the Sydney Opera House.

Stopping in Port Augusta on day 16 of his ride, Neil met with local girls Mia Dunning and Lexie Clarke, who both live with type 1 diabetes.

16-year-old Mia was diagnosed with the disease when she was nine, while 12-year-old Lexie was diagnosed at four.

Neil said he wanted the girls, and other type 1 diabetics, to know that it is not a “limiting disease”.

“I’ve lived with diabetes for 20 years and it’s a 24/7 disease … you don’t get any breaks from it,” the 36-year-old said.

“But it’s not a limitation, so I wanted to demonstrate that and raise awareness.”

Surviving on a “game-changing” low carbohydrate diet, Neil mainly consumed foods such as steak, eggs, avocados and nuts as he crossed the Nullarbor.

Neil said he decided to embark on the journey after drawing inspiration from the Indian Pacific Wheel Race last year.

“I’ve never seen the outback and I really wanted to see it at ground level,” he said.

Neil has raised almost $12,000 for the family centre based in Perth, surpassing his initial goal to raise $10,000.

To follow Neil’s journey or to donate, click here.