Midge Knight’s Story

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“Being part of the camaraderie of the tour last year and learning from the sharing of ideas between like-minded diabetics was a great experience and one I wanted to repeat”

Rider in the mHealth Grand Tour 2014 - Barcelona to Vienna. 2300km ride, 33000m of climb.

For the past two decades I have been travelling all over the world in my job as a helicopter pilot for the Royal Navy and more recently as a transport pilot for the Royal Air Force.

Forces life is usually fairly hectic and maintaining physical fitness is important. During the last few months of 2010, involving months overseas in India and the Falkland Islands, I rapidly lost over 3 stone in as  many months but felt fit and healthy on my return to the UK. However I was marched into the medics and given the news that I had T1 and would have to learn to love injecting myself with Insulin. Obviously all sort of emotions followed and 3 1/2 years later, I’m still hear being disruptive!

Born in London in the late 60’s, my early years were more concerned with winning at Conkers than getting good school reports.  10 years later, cricket and drinking snake-bites was top of the list. Despite all this, I still managed to graduated from Kings College, London in '91 before joining the Royal Navy as a cadet pilot.  

After initial flying training, I flew from UK, French and US Aircraft Carriers and had several very satisfying years doing Search and Rescue in Scotland and Cornwall. 2009 saw a swap to the RAF and I moved my wife and family to Wiltshire for work, flying the beautiful and noisy VC-10’s from RAF Brize Norton, a far cry cry from Cornwall where the girls grew up on the beach and life was lived at a slower pace. 

I have always been interested in sport, and will watch most sports just to enjoy the contest between two opposing teams.

After I was diagnosed in Feb 2011, to get back some of my fitness I took up running and completed several 1/2 marathons in a time not to trouble MO Farah! As a self confessed “plodder”, having a conversation while running was impossible, so I needed to find a more sociable way of exercising!

I met Paul Buchanan (founder of TeamBG) at the Animas sport weekend 2013 who advertised a small cycle ride to Barcelona from Brussels and dared me to take part. If only to silence the man I accepted!

Ever since my pancreas partly gave up on me over three years ago,  I have strived for better control of my BG’s and tried to work out how to limit it’s effect on the normal day to  day stuff I get up to! Not easy with so many variables and conflicting advice.

I still hold my commercial airline licence, but have being working alongside Paul Buchanan as part of TeamBG for the past 6 months, advocating for better education and training for those pancreatically challenged on the planet, and to highlight the many benefits of movement and exercise on the management of diabetes, whether pre D, T1 or T2. 

I will be riding again this year on the mHealth Grand Tour. Being part of the camaraderie of the tour last year and learning from the sharing of ideas between like-minded diabetics was a great experience and one I wanted to repeat. 

Follow this year’s mhealth Grand Tour