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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Jen gets set for Great North Run

Jen Matchett is taking on the Simply Health Great North Run for us this September, in support of her dad who has Type 1 diabetes.

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Jen’s father, David, 56, was diagnosed in 1991, age 29.

Jen, 37, who lives in Pontypridd, said, “I was 10 when dad was diagnosed. He was a single parent and brought me up on his own. A colleague mentioned how much water he was drinking and suggested he get tested. Dad had just given up smoking so thought that was the reason for his increased thirst. He eventually went to the doctor after four months and that was when he was diagnosed.

“Dad is now 56 and doesn’t let having Type 1 diabetes affect his life. He is still out racing motorbikes in his spare time and loves spending time with my daughters Joanie, 10, and Gracie, 6."

"Dad is my inspiration"

Jen ran her first half marathon in Swansea last year. She added, “Training is hard alongside full-time work and having two young children, but I’m trying to do as much as I can. The girls have started joining me on my shorter runs too.

“I’m running with two friends which will make it fun as we will stick together and support each other. I really hope Dad can come to watch as he is my inspiration.”

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition that affects around 19,000 adults in Wales. Nobody knows what causes it and it isn’t currently preventable.

The world's biggest half marathon

With over 50,000 runners taking part, the 13.1 mile Simply Health Great North Run is officially the world’s biggest half marathon. The route from Newcastle City Centre to the coast in South Shields takes in some of North East England’s most famous landmarks, including the iconic Tyne Bridge.

Our fundraising manager, Joseph Cuff, said, “We’re really grateful to Jen for taking on this challenge for us in honour of her dad, David. It’s fantastic to hear how well he has managed his condition for more than 25 years.

“The money Jen raises will help us fund groundbreaking research, care services and campaigns to change the lives of people with diabetes across Wales, and their families. We wish Jen the best of luck for the big day.”

To support her, go to Jen's JustGiving page.

Inspired by Jen's story? Find out more about taking part in the Simply Health Great North Run for us.

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