AN INSPIRATIONAL Ilminster man who completed a 42-day, 500-mile walk along a mountain range has been nominated for a nationwide award.

Julian Pablo, 57, a former soldier and police officer, was diagnosed with diabetes in 2016, and decided to take on the epic charity challenge last year.

The effort ran from August to October, and saw him raise £2,000, which was split equally between Diabetes UK and Veterans in Action.

Now, he has been nominated in the fundraising category for an Inspire Award in recognition of his incredible achievement.

Julian, who developed insulin dependent diabetes after having pancreatitis, took on this challenge while also learning how to manage insulin, hypos and all the other many difficulties associated with the condition.

“I am so proud to be nominated for this award,” he said.

“When I was first diagnosed I thought I would have to give up so much - but the team helped me understand more about my condition which, in turn, gave me the confidence to complete the challenge.”

Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly.

If not managed well, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications.

With the right treatment, knowledge and support people living with diabetes can lead a long, full and healthy life.

Phaedra Perry, regional head of Diabetes UK South West, said: “During Julian’s walk he endured considerable personal hardships including falling, after the track gave way while walking in the Ariege mountain region.

“Too steep to clamber up on his own he had to run a chord and ferry his gear and himself back up. We are all in awe of what he achieved in order to raise vital funds for us.

“Our volunteers and fundraisers are out there working hard in the community day in and day out.

“Our much-needed work wouldn’t be possible without their incredible support and I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all of our volunteers who make an enormous difference through their support.”

Julian worked as a soldier and police officer for 30 years, and has now been a carpenter at Blackdown Shepherd’s Huts for five years.

This year, the Inspire Awards are taking place on Wednesday, June 10, and, for the first time due to Covid-19, the ceremony will be held online. For more on Diabetes UK, email or call 01823 448260.