Laura Thomas, a textile designer from Bridgend, is taking on our 1 Million Step Challenge to mark 30 years of living with Type 1 diabetes.
Laura, who is also a lecturer at Carmarthen School of Art, was diagnosed with Type 1 when she was 11, just days after starting secondary school.
30 years later, she and her family will be walking one million steps over three months to raise vital funds to help the charity support other people in Wales with the condition.
The 1 Million Step Challenge takes place between 1 July and 30 September. It will take Laura at least 10,000 steps a day to reach her million.
An important anniversary
Laura said, “It was a huge shock when I was diagnosed. My family had noticed I had been drinking a lot. I remember drinking 10 glasses of water and still feeling thirsty. I also needed the toilet more than usual.
“I’d never really heard of diabetes and didn’t know anyone else who had it. I spent two weeks in hospital which was difficult when I’d only just started school. It was a big learning curve and I don’t think I really understood the seriousness of the condition until a few years later.
“I was lucky to have lots of support from the team at Withybush Hospital and my school nurse, Wendy Hedley, who supported me checking my blood sugar levels every lunchtime.
“I thought fundraising to support others with the condition was a great way to mark 30 years with Type 1.”
"Technology is extraordinary"
Laura has seen a huge change in the technology available to support people with Type 1 over the years.
Laura continued, “I had fantastic support from the Royal Glamorgan Hospital team when I was pregnant with my son, Evan, now six. They helped me start using an insulin pump. I recently started using a Freestyle Libre, which records my blood glucose levels continuously. The technology nowadays is extraordinary and I’m very grateful for it.
“I’m really looking forward to the Challenge. I have a step counter on my phone and will have to work a bit harder than normal! I’ve told Evan we’ll need to go for more walks as a family and he is excited too.” Laura
Thanks so much Laura for taking on the challenge!
To sponsor her, go to Laura's JustGiving page.
It's not too late to sign up to this year's 1 Million Step Challenge.