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All the best: David Chaney on his favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

Published 17/10/2016

David Chaney
David Chaney

The 45-year-old is director of Diabetes UK (NI). Originally from Northern Ireland, he lives in Donegal with wife Ursula and their two sons, Ciaron (13) and Ethan (10).

My best moment

Graduating from Ulster University in 2010 with a PhD. I had always wanted to do something that would make a difference so I wanted a PhD which wouldn't just sit on a shelf. And I managed to achieve that with my research into diabetes. It was an extensive study which involved seven hospitals across Northern Ireland, so it took five years. Achieving my goal was wonderful and, even better than that I had my family at my graduation.

My best song

Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton. It's the first song I danced with my wife to, and it was the first song at our wedding, too.

My best way to relax

Running - which I discovered later in life at the age of 41. Now, I've completed three marathons and I'm due to take part in the Dublin marathon at the end of the month. I run four or five times a week with a group of friends and it helps to clear my head.

My best job

I've been in this post now since July 2015 but, fortunately, I haven't had a job to date that I haven't enjoyed. My current role offers me the challenge to make a difference for people living with diabetes. I've been involved in work with the disease since 1994 when I was a diabetes nurse specialist. Afterwards I was a senior lecturer at Ulster University and then worked for the International Diabetes Federation before coming to the charity.

My best advice

Sometimes the hardest things to achieve make the most difference - if you have to work at something it will make a greater impact. That came from one of my first nursing managers.

My best movie

Any of the Marvel films. You can sit down with popcorn and enjoy them with the kids.

My best gift

A beautiful watch from my last team at the International Diabetes Federation when I left. It showed me how much they had appreciated what I had done when I was there and all we achieved as a team.

My best achievement

Developing a diabetes educational resource for young people called Choice as part of my PhD. This programme is now part of mainstream education both here and in some parts of the Republic. To me it's a legacy I have been able to leave for young people; something which will equip them to take control of their condition and improve their quality of life.

My best buy

My sat nav which has become a fundamental part of my working life when visiting support groups and meetings across Northern Ireland - given my limited geographical knowledge of the area.

My best book

The Forgotten by David Baldacci. I enjoy fictional crime and this one was a real page-turner so I read it in two days when I was on holiday. I've bought a few more of Baldacci's books with great plans to read them - to date, though, I've been too busy.

Belfast Telegraph

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