Fiona Hibberd is running the Virgin London Marathon for Diabetes UK Cymru to raise crucial awareness of Type 1 diabetes.
Fiona, 37, from Bridgend, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1997, aged 16. She had lost weight, was extremely thirsty, felt tired and needed to go to the toilet frequently. Her parents were initially concerned she may have an eating disorder, but her GP quickly recognised common symptoms of Type 1 diabetes. Testing her blood sugar levels confirmed she did have the condition.
A passion for running
Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition that must be managed carefully day-to-day. However, Fiona has not let it stop her from living life to the full, especially when it comes to staying active!
Already a keen gym-goer, Fiona discovered a passion for running two years ago. She ran the Cardiff Half Marathon for Diabetes UK in 2016, and was lucky enough to get a place in the London Marathon ballot.
The iconic 26.2-mile race takes place on Sunday 22 April this year.
"I realised I could achieve anything!"
Fiona said, “Being diagnosed felt overwhelming, but going on a diabetes education course showed me that I was in control of my condition, not the other way around. I realised I could achieve anything!
“I have run for a couple of years and decided to really challenge myself and enter the marathon. My partner Lee and I have been training three times a week, with a big 14-mile run every Sunday.
"I’d like to complete the marathon in 6 hours but am going to take it at my own pace and enjoy every step. Nothing is going to stop me from crossing that finish line!"
Improved treatment and care
“I am passionate about raising awareness of how serious diabetes is, and to raise funds that will lead to improved treatment and care for people living with the condition. Diabetes UK Cymru have been so supportive throughout my marathon journey so far and I can’t wait to meet the rest of the Diabetes UK runners on the day!”
Nobody knows what causes Type 1 diabetes but the signs and symptoms can develop very quickly. If not diagnosed swiftly, it can be life-threatening. However, as Fiona’s story shows, there is no reason why anyone with Type 1 diabetes cannot live a full, healthy and active life.
We’re so grateful to Fiona for taking on this iconic challenge. Thank you for being a part of #TeamDUK!
To sponsor Fiona, go to her Justgiving page.