EastEnders star Jonny Labey will officially open a large fundraising walk being held to raise money and awareness for type 1 diabetes charity, JDRF.

Hundreds of people with type 1 diabetes are expected to join the One Walk event.

Best known for playing Paul Coker in the BBC One soap opera, Jonny will lead a dance warm-up before officially opening the One Walk event on Sunday, September 22.

The star, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 15, is encouraging people to sign up to the family event, which will kick off outside London’s Oxo Tower Wharf. Participants can choose whether they walk six or 10 kilometres.

Jonny said he was “delighted” to help launch One Walk in London, which he called a “special event” and a “fun day out”.

The 26-year-old added: “My journey to becoming a professional dancer and entertainer has been far from smooth. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes while I was still at school.

“To stay healthy growing up I had to adjust to carb-counting before every meal, blood glucose testing and insulin injections – multiple times a day. I know how hard it was for my parents as well. I’m inspired by the fantastic work JDRF does to support children and adults affected by the condition.”

The money raised from the event will be spent on trying to find preventative treatment for type 1 diabetes and to help support those who are newly diagnosed.

JDRF’s Fundraising Development Manager Holly Davies was diagnosed eight years ago with type 1 diabetes and benefitted from JDRF-funded research into continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) which transformed her blood glucose control when she was pregnant with her first child.

She said: “On my first walk in 2012, I felt enormously grateful to the JDRF walkers who were doing something to change the landscape for those of us living with this life-long condition. I would love to return to my 2012 self and tell her about the huge advances that were going to come in type 1 care as a result of JDRF’s work.

“Due to the support of thousands of people across the world at JDRF One Walks, this September, I will stand there again with a lump in my throat and think about what my type 1 will look like in the years to come.”

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