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Published on May 15, 2010
In 1989, Douglas Cairns was a British Royal Air Force jet pilot at the age of 25 when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and consequently lost his flying career. In 2000 he regained the freedom to fly in the USA as a licensed private pilot, and then went on to complete "Diabetes World Flight" in 2003, the first round-the-world flight by a pilot with type 1 diabetes. After completing his world flight Douglas wrote a book on his experiences (Dare to Dream: Flying Solo With Diabetes) and spent three years in the USA giving sponsored motivational talks to the diabetes community. During this time he set five world speed records and two transcontinental speed records in the USA using the Diabetes World Flight "Beech Baron," and last year broke the existing record to land in all 48 contiguous states of the USA by 33 hours (www.diabetesflight48.com). Douglas is a founder member of Pilots With Diabetes and is passionate about raising awareness of diabetes, and still gives regular talks to diabetes conferences & meetings, highlighting that diabetes need not limit the scope of people's dreams and ambitions. Douglas is based in London as an Investment Specialist with Threadneedle Investment Management, covering Asia & Global Emerging Markets equities.