A woman from Parkfields will be doing the One Million Step Challenge for Diabetes UK after living with Type 1 diabetes for 21 years and overcoming numerous health issues related to the condition.
The event takes place between 1 July and 30 September, and invites people to push themselves out of their comfort zone, by taking one million steps over three months and getting sponsored for every stride.
It will take mother-of-two Ruth Downie (pictured above with daughter Lucinda and son Deon), who teaches at Dormston School in Sedgley, Dudley, more than 10,000 steps a day to reach her million.
Ruth, 34, has faced a number of diabetes-related health issues since developing the condition as a teenager, but despite various set-backs, she lives life to the full and hopes the challenge will raise money to support the charity’s research and also encourage more understanding of the serious condition.
Husband Steven, whose own mother died from complications from her diabetes aged just 52, keeps a close eye on Ruth and often has to carry her downstairs at night when she experiences dangerously low blood sugar levels.
“I was seriously ill when I was pregnant with my son Deon and spent most of my pregnancy in hospital,” said Ruth.
“I ended up in a coma and had an emergency caesarian. It’s a miracle that we survived, but Deon does have a few health problems as a result of the trauma he suffered in the womb, which I can never forgive myself for, but he is a bricklaying apprentice and doing very well.
“During school term it is easier for me to get my steps in as I’m always walking about the school supporting students, but this challenge is ensuring I keep my walking up during the summer break.”
Ruth added: “While it’s a great way to stay healthy, I’m doing this to raise the profile of diabetic care.
“It is often a condition which is brushed off, or just affects those who live an unhealthy life, but it is not."
“Every penny raised will help us to support the millions of people living with diabetes in the UK so please give generously to back Ruth and support her amazing effort.
“You can take on the challenge alone, or better still, get your family, friends and colleagues involved. You can even split the million steps between a team to make it easier.”