A Felixstowe woman has set herself the challenge of completing 30 physical feats before her 30th birthday - on September 30th - to raise money for Diabetes UK in memory of her mum.
Sophie Chapman (pictured above with her mum) has been running in events since the beginning of the year and is on target to complete her final challenge before her birthday.
The inspiration behind the event is Sophie’s mum Jenny Dawson, who died in 2013 following complications from her diabetes.
Sophie, who works for a shipping company, said: “I lost my amazing Mum to diabetes nearly four years ago when she was just 57, and I wanted to raise some money and awareness for Diabetes UK.
“She had Type 1 diabetes for over 15 years and I always hoped for a cure so she didn't have to constantly check her blood and watch everything she ate, then have to factor in exercise as well.
“She also experienced lots of hypos (low blood glucose levels). They didn't happen every day but it was often and it was scary for her and us. It slowly took her away from me and I hope one day with more research a cure can be found so others don't have to go through the same.”
Jenny was an accountant and also lived in Felixstowe. Sophie hopes that everyone who knew her mum and knows her will get behind her fundraising efforts.
“People don’t get what hard work living with Type 1 diabetes can be. She had to think about it constantly and tried really hard to manage the condition, it wasn’t easy and it had a massive impact on her day to day life,” said Sophie
"I want people to understand how serious the condition is, she had hypos, but we would treat them and she would be ok. I didn’t know how serious they could be and neither did she. She went to bed one night and she never woke up."
"She is greatly missed by all her family and friends, I don’t want other people to go through what we did and want to do something positive in her memory,” added Sophie.
Sophie has been training hard and has had a lot of support, especially from the Felixstowe Road Runners and her friend Michelle Gordon, who has joined her for a few events. Sophie has been building up to running longer distances and has completed her first half-marathon and has now signed up to her first marathon in Edinburgh in May.
She will be supported there by her older brothers Matthew and James who both live in Scotland.
She hopes to complete her challenge with a run in her hometown of Felixstowe in September. Among her supporters will be her mum’s identical twin sister Jayne Farnworth.
Teresa Strange, Diabetes UK Eastern fundraiser, said: “We are so grateful to Sophie for the amazing effort she is making to support us in our work.
“The money she is raising will go towards vital research, supporting people living with diabetes, helping to improve care and education and also our work to prevent the rise in Type 2 diabetes.
“If you can support Sophie by donating to her Just Giving page and spurring her on towards the finish line, then that would be much appreciated.”