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FOR THE GRANDKIDS; Billy tackles diabetes with weight battle.

Byline: by CAROLINE INNES Health Reporter

A DIABETES sufferer has signed up to the Lose a Million challenge to make sure he lives to watch his ten grandchildren grow up.

Billy McKevitt, 57, of Townsend Avenue, Norris Green, weighs 17 stone and six pounds, and is determined to lose at least a stone by this time next year.

He then hopes to go on to lose more.

Mr McKevitt was diagnosed with diabetes ten years ago, and takes the maximum dose of tablets to control his blood sugar.

He said: "When I turned 57, I realised I was getting near 60 and was still the same weight and I needed to do something about it.

"The biggest motivation to get healthy is that I want to see my grandkids get older - I don't want to miss them growing up.

"I want to lose a few stone, get active and sort myself out. If I get my weight down, I'll hopefully be able to live longer.

"I'm going to do more exercise, make changes to my diet and I'm going to go out on my bike which I just bought. I'm determined to succeed."

Mr McKevitt is married with three children and ten grandchildren.

He lost his job as a heavy goods vehicle driver when his eyesight deteriorated as a result of his illness.

His mother died from complications caused by diabetes and he gave up drinking because of her death.

He said: "When I was first diagnosed, I thought oh well, it's just one of those things.

"The real turning point was when I went on a diabetes course and learned all about the disease - I don't think I really understood it before then.

"I watched my mum suffer from it and it broke my heart. I just don't want to go the same way and I don't want to miss out on my family growing up."

Today he joined the campaign to help lose weight and gain control of his condition.

The 12-month Lose a Million campaign is the first of its kind, and is spearheaded by the Liverpool PCT and backed by the ECHO.

More than 2,500 people have signed up to the pounds 10mcampaign and already pledged to lose more than 50,000 between them.

To sign up to the challenge, go to or call 0800 012 1733.

Participants will receive a free starter pack with tips on getting healthy.



DETERMINED: Billy McKevitt signs up for the weight loss challenge with Lose A Million Pounds event manager Gemma Stansfield Picture: GEOFF ROBERTS
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 12, 2009
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