A PEEBLES teenager is facing up to the illness he's had almost all of his life by organising an annual fundraising walk.

And 18-year-old Kieran Forsyth was joined by an enthusiastic group of supporters for the eight-miles trek between his hometown and Walkerburn - including the mentor who helped throughout his secondary education.

Kieran was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes more than 15 years ago.

The insulin-dependent youngster admits he has struggled to manage his condition.

But with the support of friends and family - as well as the Peebles Type 1 support group - the outlook has become much more positive.

Kieran's Walk last month has raised over £1700 for Diabetes UK.

He said: "Highlighting the condition means a lot as I know first hand how important knowledge and understanding is and having people around to give support is vital.

"I hope to make the walk an annual event, and even though it was a cold and windy day the sun was out and it was great to see so many people enjoying the scenery, the food stop at Nashy's and enjoying each other's company, as well as doing some exercise.

"I want to thank all my friends and family for taking part and helping me raise so much money.

"I'd also like to thank Keith Gibb of BARC coach hire for supplying the transport back to Peebles."

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin.

Joining Kieran on the walk was his 'unofficial' mentor Caroline Connor.

The Peebles High school assistant has won several awards for her campaigning and fundraising for Diabetes UK.

Throughout Kieran's six years at Peebles High she was a constant support.

And Caroline has stayed in touch with the teenager after he left the secondary.

As well as completing Kieran's Walk, Caroline is preparing to swim the English Channel next month.

Having already completed epic outdoor swims at Loch Lomond and Loch Awe, she is hoping to conquer the 22 miles to France on June 20.

Caroline is fundraising for both Diabetes UK and Parkinsons UK.

She told us: "I am so looking forward to my challenge of swimming the English Channel.

"It will be one of the toughest swims I have ever done but I will train, train and train some more to make sure that I have done everything possible to complete it.

"My two charities are Diabetes UK and Parkinsons UK. Each is very close to my heart, as my Dad has had Parkinsons for over 10 years and it is a truly debilitating condition.

"The kids at Peebles High School who have type 1 diabetes are my motivation and inspiration.

"What they have to do each day in order to keep themselves alive and healthy and live a 'normal' life is amazing. I would do anything to find a cure for these two conditions."

Anyone who would like to donate to Caroline's charities can visit her fundraising page at: