SALEMBURG — Perry Williams enjoys riding through the roads of Sampson County on his bike. And with each push of the pedals, he’s riding for diabetes.
It’s something the diabetic has been doing for several years now. He’s known by his supporters as “The Miracle Biker” and has been cycling since he was 14.
“My goal is to keep riding on the awareness of diabetes as long as I can,” Williams said. “I can’t stop and I won’t stop.”
He recently completed a nonstop time trail ride from Salemburg to Clinton. Williams said he completed the 10-mile route in 35 minutes. On the way back to his Salemburg home, it took him about 40 minutes. Williams plans to complete a bigger route in November for National Diabetes Month. In 2015, he completed a ride, which began in Salemburg and ended in Fayetteville. It took a little over two hours to complete for bringing awareness to disease which effects close to 30 million people.
Diabetes is a disease where blood glucose levels are above normal. A lot of food consumed, turns into glucose or sugar. The pancreas makes insulin to help transfer glucose to cells for energy. Diabetes occurs when the body can’t make enough insulin or can’t produce its own. This results in sugar building up in the blood.
Williams was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2012 and received medical treatment after falling into a coma because of a high blood sugar level. According to medical professionals, this type occurs with insulin resistance — a condition where muscle, fat and liver cell do not use insulin to carry glucose for energy. The pancreas is able to keep up with the insulin demand, but after awhile it does not make enough insulin when blood sugar levels increase.
“I don’t like living with it, but I’m doing everything that I can by fighting it,” he said about taking medication and eating nutritious foods.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the disease can cause serious health complications. Some of them include blindness, kidney failure and amputations. It’s one of the top leading cause of death in the United States.
Through his rides, Williams wants to encourage diabetics and encourage healthy habits to prevent the diseases. In 2015, on One day, he would like to ride across the county for the cause.
“By the grace of God, it was a miracle that I was able to ride bikes again,” he said. “It was a miracle that God gave me a second chance to enjoy something that he knows I love doing and that’s riding bikes.”