diabetes world flight

- Aim
"To be the first pilot with Type 1 Diabetes
to fly around the world in a light aircraft and raise money for diabetes research".
- Douglas Cairns

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Activities 2004

In November Douglas flew from Omaha, Nebraska to San Diego, California via Denver and Leadville, Colorado (the USA's highest airport at 9927 feet above sea level), the Grand Canyon and Sedoma in Arizona. This stunning 1200-mile journey was made to give a talk to the Taking Control of Your Diabetes 10th Anniversary Conference on Saturday 20th November. On 18th November an interview on Diabetes World Flight and was given to Channel 10 Television San Diego

In July Douglas set a US Transcontinental Speed Record from Montgomery Airfield, San Diego to Kittyhawk, North Carolina. Total time was 12 hours, 9 minutes and 3 seonds over 2051 nautical miles, resulting in an average speed of 168.4 knots. Two refueling stops were made, one at Tucumcari in New Mexico, and another at Mayfield, Kentucky. Many thanks to all those who helped refuel, including Tom and the team at Mayfield. Thanks also to Barry and staff at MontgomeryAirfield Air Traffic Control (San Diego), and at Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center for recording take off time and the time to cross Kittyhawk Airfield respectively. The entire route was made in clear weather except for two thunderstorms near Amarillo, Texas, and another just four miles from Kittyhawk. The latter storm made the final few minutes more challenging - at 11 p.m. and in the dark, while passing nearby, the lighting flashes were temporarily blinding.

Shortly after making the transcontinental record flight, Douglas flew from South Carolina along the Appalachian Mountains to New York State and met with Dr. Richard Bernstein, author of "Diabetes Solution." Dr. Bernstein is an advocate of a low carbohydrate diet for people with diabetes (details can be found on
), a practice that Douglas has found helps his own blood sugar control. (So far Douglas' 2004 HbA1cs have ranged between 5.0% and 5.3% - using Lantus with Humalog/Novolog insulin - without any hypoglycemic events.)

Earlier in the year presentations were given to Diabetes Associations in the UK and Ireland, and in July Douglas "cut the ribbon" for the Children With Diabetes "Friends For Life Annual Conference" opening ceremony in Los Angeles. In October a short speech was made at the Diabetes UK Scotland "Hummingbird Ball" in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Fund raising for diabetes research finally reached $26,000 by the end of June 2004. Thank you to everyone who made contributions over the last two years. Donations are being made to Diabetes UK Research Fund, Children With Diabetes Foundation and ADA Research Foundation.

Overall it's been an extremely fulfilling two years, carrying out Diabetes World Flight (DWF), raising awareness of diabetes and raising funds for research. Many thanks to everyone who has supported DWF. Watch this space for future projects!


"Dare To Dream: Flying Solo With Diabetes"

dare to dream book cover

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