Wasim Akram - former Pakistan skipper and veteran bowler who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes has vowed to 'walk any mile' to raise awareness about diabetes.
"The problem is the lack of awareness about this disease. I'll walk any mile, go to any country to raise awareness. If even one person is detected with diabetes at an early stage because I've highlighted it, it would be worth it because that person will be able to lead a normal life," the Friday magazine quoted Akram, as saying.
Akram has also pledged to fight the stigma attached to the disease especially in South East Asian countries.
"You have to be constantly monitoring yourself, nobody else will. You have to take care of yourself. There's no point blaming anyone else. Be organised and just follow your routine. It's all about being in careful of your blood sugar, your diet, your exercise - that will leave you in control," he said in an advise to patients.
Akram, who was diagnosed with the condition at the age of 29 years, said he was completely devastated when he learnt about it.
"It was a huge shock because at that age you think you're invincible! It took me three and a half months to come to terms with it, especially since there was no known reason for why I developed diabetes," Akram said.He said his health, however, improved emotionally and physically when he accepted his condition.
He brought diabetes under control through exercise and diet, and guidance of his late psychologist wife Huma.
"I learnt a lot more about my body. I saw that my blood sugar levels shot up whenever I was stressed. I learnt to monitor my blood sugar levels, and find ways to control it. But even now I have to inject myself with insulin three times a day," he said.
Wasim hoped that his own example of perseverance will "motivate youngsters to adopt a healthier lifestyle."