Maeve McSparron was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last year, an autoimmune condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot produce insulin. A year later, with excellent health care and a determination to keep her condition under control, Maeve arranged a workout session to celebrate her diaversary in her local gym in Larne.
Maeve explained, ‘Diabetes can be tiring, frustrating and scary. I found it very difficult to digest mentally. Exercise became an escape for me and has allowed me to meet some amazing people. When I walk into a class all I think about is my workout for that night, with diabetes only coming into my mind when I check my blood sugars about halfway through. It's a way to switch off and take back control.
‘I decided to do something to mark my first year living with Type 1 diabetes and thankfully my gym family came out to support me. I have learned the importance of having a support network around you to help you on this rollercoaster of diabetes.
"Thank you to everyone who has helped me and who supported my diaversary workout session raising a fantastic amount of money."
No one knows exactly what causes Type 1 diabetes, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable. It’s the most common type of diabetes in children and young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly. Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses – taken either by injections or via an insulin pump. It is also recommended to follow a healthy diet and take regular physical activity.
Maeve and her friends raised a staggering £1,300 for Diabetes UK Northern Ireland as well as helping to raise awareness in the local community.
Maeve continued, ‘I remember those first few weeks of coming to terms with my diagnosis and spending hours on the Diabetes UK website which gave me so much information and encouragement.
"I am so happy to be able to do something for the charity that helped me at my time of need and I know they will continue to be with me on my journey."
There are over 100,000 people living with diabetes in Northern Ireland with approximately 10 per cent of those living with Type 1 diabetes.