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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Ruskington man taking huge strides for Diabetes UK

A father-of-three, who is walking to transform his health and reduce his risk of developing type 2 diabetes, is tackling the One Million Step Challenge to raise funds for our charity’s vital work.

Jeremy Cowell - Million Step Challenge

Jeremy Cowell, 54, (pictured) is committed to getting as fit as possible and losing a total of 18 stone in around 18 months to improve life for himself and his family.

His aim is to reach the weight he was when he married wife Kylie, and having shed seven stone this year, the couple are already reaping the benefits of Jeremy’s increased mobility and zest for life.

Jeremy said: “I have been in a bad place, both physically and mentally, over the last few years. This exacerbated my weight problem and it escalated to the stage where I could barely get out of a chair or walk 20 metres without being exhausted.

“My family have been encouraging me all the way along, but I had a few work issues, after previously holding senior management roles, so my motivation just wasn’t there.

“I decided to make the change to overhaul my lifestyle at Christmas and started by cutting out beer. This really helped and when I added movement to this plan in the Spring alongside eating healthier and reducing my calorie intake it became easier.

“I was told I was at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and my dad lives with the condition, so I knew what my future had in store for me. That’s why I chose this challenge and this year I have gone from managing a couple of steps to yomping round the countryside and loving it.

“I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’ve already got my life back and I know it’s just going to get better and better. My family and I are doing things together again which we haven’t been able to do for a longtime.

“I’ve lived the last 15 years with an overweight person on my back all the time, and it’s time to let him go!”

Jeremy, who works for Natural England, plans to keep on pushing his fitness goals and aims to take on some running challenges next year.

The One Million Step Challenge runs between 1 July and 30 September, and encourages people to push themselves out of their comfort zone by taking one million steps over three months, while getting sponsored for every stride. There is also the option to walk half a million steps or a mammoth 1.7 million. 

Peter Shorrick, our Midlands and East Regional Head, said:

“We’re really grateful to Jeremy for supporting our work to fund ground-breaking research, care services and campaigns that change the lives of those living with diabetes.  

During the past few months, demand for our services has reached unprecedented levels and our own funding has been significantly impacted. People with diabetes need us now, and so we need your support to be able to continue fighting.

So Jeremy’s efforts in these really challenging times are more vital than ever before.

The One Million Step Challenge is perfect if you want to take steps towards a healthier you. You can take on the challenge alone, or better still, get your family, friends and colleagues involved. You can walk it, jog it or dance it. How you complete your steps is up to you. The money you raise while you do it will fund our fight for a world where diabetes can do no harm.”

To keep up with Jeremy’s journey, follow him on Instagram @jerryfituk and visit his One Million Step page. You can also sponsor him too. 

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