Page last updated at 14:38 GMT, Sunday, 7 September 2008 15:38 UK

Sir Ian launches diabetes centre

Sir Ian Botham
Sir Ian Botham has backed the appeal for the diabetes centre since 2003

Former cricketer Sir Ian Botham has launched the construction of a new diabetes centre in Surrey.

Work will start on the Stephanie Marks Centre at St Peter's Hospital, Chertsey, which will cost about £1m, later in the autumn.

The building will offer out patient treatment, education for patients and clinicians and medical research.

Sir Ian, whose daughter Becky has suffered from diabetes since she was nine, is a patron of the appeal.

He said: "The new Centre will become vital as the number of people with the condition escalates at an alarming rate."

Planning permission has been granted for the two-storey resource centre which will serve about 400,000 residents in Elmbridge, Hounslow, Runnymede, Spelthorne, Surrey Health and Woking.

Stephanie Marks, who suffered from type 1 diabetes, died of complications in 2002 aged 17. She was born in St Peter's Hospital and had wanted to be a doctor.

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