Māori musician raising awareness for Diabetes NZ

By Regan Paranihi

39-year-old musician, Ricky Winikerei is a part of an Anytime fitness campaign to raise $30,000 for Diabetes NZ.  He has committed himself to a nationwide fitness challenge, hoping to raise funds and awareness about the condition.

Winikerei was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes three years ago, “I was feeling tired all the time, always going to the bathroom and I craved sugar”.

The lifestyle of a musician didn’t necessarily fit his newfound health requirements but he resolved to not let the diagnosis change him.

“I’ve learned that you can’t let it rule your life and stop you from doing the things you love,” he says.

“I heard horror stories about how hard it is to balance exercising with your insulin so I stopped doing any physical activity until I could get a handle on how to manage my condition.

“It was easy to sit at home and not do anything, but that’s a lot of time to think about my situation and it starts to play on your mind.”

Type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented but it can be managed, while type 2 can be prevented.  Winikerei believes people need to be made aware of the condition.

“Most people don’t understand the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, or they assume people have diabetes because of their weight or race.

“I hope I can challenge the stigma around diabetes and dispel some of the myths surrounding the condition.”

Winikerei will be sharing his journey on the AnytimeFitnessNZ and DiabetesNZ Facebook pages,

The Anytime Fitness NZ’s 28 Day Winter Kick Start Programme can also be purchased online where all proceeds go to Diabetes NZ.