A rapper with type 1 diabetes who has supported drum and bass band Rudimental on tour is about to complete a major swimming challenge.
Norfolk’s Franko Fraize has already swum 17 miles and only has five more to endure before finishing his epic personal achievement.
The 30-year-old, who has had type 1 diabetes for 20 years, said taking part in charity Diabetes UK’s Swim 22 fundraiser has made him feel fitter and healthier.
Speaking to the Thetford and Brandon Times, he said: “At the time they asked me to do it my diabetes was all over the place. I’m a good diabetic but it was a bit coincidental.
“But one of the best things to do if you are diabetic is keeping your exercise up. Now my diabetes is in a good place.
“When I first went I was terrible and it was taking me one hour to do half a mile. Now it takes me 50 minutes to do a mile. I am in the shape of my life. Swimming is one of the exercises you don’t really think to get involved in but it is great.”
The star, who has performed at the Reading and Leeds Festivals, has been joined by his friends Stewart Saleh and Andrew Kerling. They are known as the Thetford 93 – a group who take part in charity challenges.
Swim 22 encourages fundraisers to swim the equivalent of the English Channel in a local pool in 12 weeks. Franko had hoped to raise just over £200 but he has superseded that figure having already reached £450.
Franko said a large part of getting involved was to raise awareness. “Without getting on my diabetic soapbox, people don’t really know about diabetes, they know people who have it, but it is an invisible illness,” he said.
“There is so much more to type 1 diabetes that people need to learn. The biggest one for me is how it affects your mood and behaviour. It fluctuates with your sugar levels and that is the biggest thing that people do not realise.”
For more information on swimming and doing other types of exercise with diabetes, visit our Diabetes and Sport section.

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