Get to know Shahzad Ahmed

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“I lost two uncles to the complications of diabetes. I am hypertensive and have the classic gene pool to acquire it”

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

I am 46 years old Canadian IT professional currently settled in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates with my wife and daughter. I was born and grew up in Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan. My dad was an engineer so I had a natural inclination towards technology.  My mom was a devoted mother and housewife with excellent culinary skills. That was where I developed my love of food

I have a passion for technology and its role in improvement of health of society. Back in college days, for my final year graduation project I designed and developed a digital heart rate and body temperature monitor. I enjoy participating in sports activities especially in context of socializing and improving fitness and health. I regularly participate with my fitness fanatic group of friends at Daman Active Life TrainYas, a weekly running and cycling training facility at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi - Formula 1 Race Track. I have participated in several running, cycling and fitness events during the last couple of years including Dubai marathon 10K, RAK half marathon and Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.  I also enjoy cycling with my wife and daughter on the beach. Hence, cycling has fit in as a perfect activity that feeds my passion of mhealth, improving my health, socializing, traveling and providing me with greater challenges in life.

I have had a long association with the illness although not directly but through my first uncles and aunts who have Type 2 diabetes and a young cousin who was recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I lost two uncles to the complications of diabetes. I am hypertensive and have the classic gene pool to acquire it. I have seen its effects on the quality of life first hand and note that ignorance and lack of understanding about the disease can change a completely manageable disease like diabetes into an illness with devastating complications including death.

Technology, Health and Exercise

I have the classic gene pool to develop diabetes

This is my story...

Last year I participated in one stage of mhealth grand tour. This cycling experience was so inspiring that I want to ride the whole 2300 km challenging EPIC mhealth tour from Barcelona to Vienna this year with the following objectives in mind:

•I am obese and have been suffering from high blood pressure for the last 12 years. I want to reduce my weight and adopt an active life style while preparing for this tour to reduce the risks of diabetes.

•I believe people with diabetes are no different from people with any chronic illness including obesity, which can be managed and controlled. I want to inspire others to take control of their challenges and believe that one can achieve anything they put their mind to. I also want people to be motivated to learn more about diabetes, to arouse their curiosity about how this disease affects us, and how it can be managed. I want to inspire people to care enough to make a change. I want to inspire my family to understand the importance of good health and more importantly how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The technology age has made children less active than they were when I was growing up, and they are always connected to some sort of IT gadget, be it the iPad or TV etc. Recently I read a quote, “It's not very likely you'll make world's greatest dad. If you can't entertain a child without using an iPad”. I want my daughter to know that there are so many exciting and healthy activities that she can participate in that are both fun and good for her health.

• I would like to inspire others to adopt a healthy lifestyle through blogging and showcasing my stories if I can do this challenging tour, anybody can do it. I would like to raise awareness about mhealth and role of technology to improve health in society.

•I would like to raise funds for charity

My ambitions?

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