Over the last half a century Simon has witnessed many changes in the evolution of diabetes management.
Simon said: “Diabetes treatment has changed a lot, and for the better I must add. I started out using a glass syringe that needed to be boiled and glass phials from where you had to draw up your insulin. Now disposable pens are the norm and blood monitoring devices mean constant finger pricking for many is a thing of the past.”
Simon retired from playing table tennis in his early 30s. When he was 60, he took up the sport once again, and represented Great Britain in his age category and winning national and international titles, before retiring.
In 2019, after some time spent living in Florida, Simon returned to the UK, when he was admitted to hospital with diabetes-related neuropathy complications with his right foot – that led to his leg being amputated (in 2022 his other leg was also amputated).
Simon aimed to turn the situation around: “I immediately saw this as an opportunity to get back into table tennis. I could not stand up, but I could play in a wheelchair. From my hospital bed I joined British Para Table Tennis and sourced my first sports specific wheelchair from a charity that I had previously helped.
“I was discharged from hospital five days after my amputation and was playing table tennis again, albeit from a wheelchair, within a week.”
“The rest is history. I made my Great Britain debut in Costa Rica in December 2019.
“2022 was my big year as I entered the world ranking list at number 46 in my category.”