Beccles toddler is the inspiration behind Dad’s charity mud run

Neil Finch from Beccles is getting ready to compete in the Tough Mudder in aid of Diabetes UK becaus

Neil Finch from Beccles is getting ready to compete in the Tough Mudder in aid of Diabetes UK because his son Toby suffers from the condition. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Two-year-old Toby Finch is like any other toddler, and enjoys running around in his Beccles back garden with his big brother and sister.

But he is also dependent on an insulin pump, having been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last year.

And now his dad Neil is taking on a muddy charity obstacle course to raise awareness about his condition in the hope that other parents might spot the signs in their own children.

“I just wanted to do something for Toby,” said Mr Finch, 31.

He will be travelling to Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire with his brother and a friend to take on the Tough Mudder, a 12-mile obstacle mud race.

Toby’s mum Kerrie said: “Looking back, all the signs of diabetes were there, but we didn’t know what they meant.”

Mr Finch said: “They talk about the four Ts in diabetes - needing the toilet, being thirsty, feeling tired and looking thinner.

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“And Toby was sleeping all the time and drinking a lot.”

The couple put their son’s symptoms down to heat, or the type of nappy he was wearing.

“We didn’t want to be that paranoid parent who rushes to the doctors every time something is wrong,” said Mrs Finch.

But one night when Toby was sick, they took him to the doctor who found that his sugar level was exceptionally high.

Diagnosed with diabetes, Mr and Mrs Finch were tasked with injecting their young son with insulin several times a day.

Now however, he has been fitted with an insulin pump which injects him with regular insulin throughout the day. They can also adjust the amount of insulin he receives at meal times.

Mr Finch said: “It was quite traumatic having to inject a two-year-old but he has taken to the pump really well.”

Toby can be without his pump for up to two hours at a time, and can choose to manage his condition with injections when he gets older if he chooses to.

But for now, his parents are thankful for the support they have had from the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston, and want to give back by raising money for Diabetes UK.

“I’ve been doing some long distance runs and some shorter ones as well,” said Mr Finch. “And I’ve been going to Ultimate Boxing doing some personal training sessions.”

He hopes to raise £1,000 by taking on the challenge next Sunday, May 22, and will be running the course with the letter T shaved into his head for Toby, who will be proudly cheering his dad on from home.

To donate, visit or bring a donation into The Journal office at 20 Blyburgate, Beccles, in a sealed envelope marked ‘Team Toby’.

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