Aaron Perry has made a career as a professional cyclist but now he's gearing up to run the Auckland Marathon with his partner - and he's done it all with type 1 diabetes.

The Rotorua man wants to show others they can do whatever they put their mind to.

He was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at 16 but hasn't let it hold him back.

"It's a tough condition to manage. It takes a team effort. But I guess I've always had the attitude to get out there and do what you normally would.


"I've never let it get in the way."

Perry has been instrumental in bringing the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to New Zealand and is part of the charity's leadership group.

The charity has space for 30 runners to represent it at the Auckland Marathon at the end of the month and is hoping to raise $20,000.

Perry and his partner Clare Barratt-Wood will be among those doing the half marathon, as will Rotorua Marathon seventh place finisher Michael Voss.

Barratt-Wood has run marathons and half marathons before but said this time would be different.

"I've always run and it was about timing. This time it's different, it's running with a purpose and to raise awareness."

Barratt-Wood is a teacher and said the foundation provided much-needed support for youth with diabetes.

She said Perry proved type one diabetes shouldn't hold you back and exercise was one of the best ways to manage diabetes.


"Aaron proves you can still do what you want."

Perry said he had been working to help set up the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in New Zealand for the better part of five years.

The Auckland Marathon is on October 28 and the couple are training hard for the half marathon leg.

To join or donate to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation team at the marathon click here.

Type one diabetes
- About 10 per cent of those with diabetes have type one. That equates to about 24,000 Kiwis.
- An auto-immune condition in which the body attacks the cells which create insulin resulting in the body not producing any, or only producing a minimal amount of, insulin.
- Most often occurs in ages 7 to 12.
- Symptoms include thirst, passing more urine, weight loss, fatigue, mood changes.
- There is currently no cure.
Source: Diabetes New Zealand