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Norfolk rapper’s charity challenge to raise awareness and money for Diabetes UK

PUBLISHED: 17:00 09 April 2018 | UPDATED: 17:40 09 April 2018

Thetford rapper Franko Fraize who is raising money for Diabetes UK. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Thetford rapper Franko Fraize who is raising money for Diabetes UK. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2016

A Norfolk rapper is coming to the end of his swimming challenge to help raise awareness and money for Diabetes UK.

Franko Fraize, middle, is taking on a 22 mile swimming challenge to raise money for Diabetes UK. He has been joined by friends Andrew Kerling (left) and Stewart  Saleh. Picture: Joey LamecheFranko Fraize, middle, is taking on a 22 mile swimming challenge to raise money for Diabetes UK. He has been joined by friends Andrew Kerling (left) and Stewart Saleh. Picture: Joey Lameche

Franko Fraize, from Thetford, was approached by the charity to take part in their Swim 22 fundraiser.

The aim is to swim 22 miles - the distance of the Channel - in 12 weeks between February and May 22.

The 30-year-old was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes around 20 years ago and said he took on the challenge to help himself and others.

“At the time they asked me to do it my diabetes was all over the place,” he said. “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.”

He added that hen hopes it can help to raise awareness of the condition, which affects around 10pc of people in the UK.

“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. It can be a nightmare.

“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.”

The rapper, who has supported Rudimental and has performed at Reading and Leeds Festivals, has been joined on the swim by friends Stewart Saleh and Andrew Kerling.

No strangers to fundraising, the trio are part of the Thetford 93 - a group of friends who take part in charity challenges.

So far Franko has completed 17 miles at Breckland Leisure Centre & Waterworld and is aiming to complete the challenge by the end of the week.

His target was to raise £222 but he has so far raised more than £450.

He added: “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 exercises you don’t really think to get involved in but it is great.

“I was so naive to it when I first got involved. I was so useless at swimming but Stewart has helped me out with it.”

To sponsor Franko visit his Just Giving page.

More information about Diabetes UK can be found here.

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