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Gemma’s 30 challenges for 30 years in milestone birthday celebrations

Turning 30 is one of life’s milestones and for Faughanvale woman, Gemma Martin, she wanted to do something a little different. Gemma decided to take on 30, sometimes extreme, challenges to mark her special birthday, while raising money for Diabetes UK Northern Ireland.

Gemma with large numbers on the ground of the amount she raised: £4120 and Gemma is standing in front of a cow shed with hay and cows behind her as she holds a placard with Diabetes UK NI logo on it.

Gemma was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was just 12 years old and has been managing this relentless condition ever since. With some help from her friends, Gemma came up with the ‘30 for 30’ list; including completing a half marathon in under 2 hours, a sky dive, running up Eglinton Main Street in a bikini and wearing a chicken suit to a Westlife concert.

Gemma said, ‘I wanted to celebrate turning 30 by doing something completely different so that is where the list of ideas came from. I wanted to raise money for Diabetes UK Northern Ireland so decided to complete the whole list and do it to help raise awareness about diabetes.

‘There are some silly things on the list, like washing my friend’s car or cooking a Sunday dinner for the family, but also more challenging ones like the sky dive and the half marathon. But that’s the fun part of fundraising, we can try almost anything and get others involved while we do it. I had great fun completing all 30 things on the list for my birthday challenge and I am so happy to be able to present over £4,100 to Diabetes UK NI as a result.’

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong, serious condition and no one knows what exactly causes it. There are over 108,000 people living with diabetes in Northern Ireland and about 8% are living with type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes UK Northern Ireland Fundraising Manager, Naomi Breen, said, ‘I loved Gemma’s ‘30 for 30’ fundraising ideas and want to thank her in undertaking so many challenges to help us raise awareness and funds for people living with diabetes in Northern Ireland. With the support of family and friends, Gemma has not only created amazing memories from these challenges but has raised a fantastic amount of money to help others living with this relentless condition.

‘Diabetes is often misunderstood; more and more of us are being impacted by it, that is why it is so important that we keep talking about it and supporting those managing it every single night and day of their lives. The money that Gemma has raised will help do that for families in Northern Ireland.’

If you would like to read more about Gemma’s ’30 for 30’ list then visit her JustGiving page.


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