Friday, September 17, 2010 - 11:02

The Eden Project’s Chief Executive and Co-Founder Tim Smit is opening a charity walk through the world-famous Biomes this weekend to help raise funds for diabetes research.

He will give a speech to participants taking part in Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s first-ever Cornwall Walk to Cure Diabetes taking place at Eden on Sunday 19 September.

The five-kilometre trek will raise funds to help support research into finding the cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications.

Tim has also been supporting the event on a personal level; his son has type 1 diabetes, so Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is a cause close to his heart.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that causes the body’s own immune system to turn on itself and attack cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. The condition affects about 350,000 adults in the UK, including over 25,000 children and requires multiple daily insulin injections and finger prick blood tests to manage. It can cause devastating complications including blindness, heart disease, amputation, stroke and kidney failure and reduces life expectancy by 20 years.

The Cornwall Walk will take place inside the Eden Project, with families walking through the Rainforest and Mediterranean Biomes, experiencing the different climates of the world and viewing the thousands of plants inside the giant greenhouses. All who sign up to take part in the walk will have full access to the Eden Project’s grounds for the day.

Megan Brown, Development Manager for JDRF in the Midlands, South West, and Wales said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Tim Smit to speak at our first ever Walk to Cure Diabetes in the grounds of the Eden Project this year. We're excited that hundreds of local people are joining us to help support our research into the cure to type 1 diabetes'.

Tim Smit, co-founder and Chief Executive of the Eden Project said: “We are delighted to be supporting JDRF by launching the first ever Cornwall Walk to Cure Diabetes here at The Eden Project and I am honoured to have been invited to share my experiences of living with type 1 diabetes at the event.”