A mum of two from Blackwood is swimming the equivalent of the English Channel to raise vital funds for Diabetes UK.
Sian Jones, 40 is taking on the swimming challenge of the year, Swim 22, between 22 February and 22 May because she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes early this month and is determined to get fit and healthy. Swim22 participants will cover an incredible 22 miles – the equivalent of crossing the English Channel.
Sian, a Digital Content Coordinator at the University of South Wales said: “I have fibromyalgia but was getting even more tired than usual and had constant migraines so I was not really surprised something was wrong. I was still shocked to find out I had type 2 diabetes. I think this is the result of years of abusing my body with food and lack of exercise. My diagnosis and Swim22 prompted me to take action. Instead of eating biscuits and chocolates in the evening, I am swimming and am eating healthily. I feel I have a lot more energy, am more relaxed and my joints don’t ache as much. The pool is my space and a way of getting peace and quiet and let it all wash your worries away”.
Sian has a busy job and two children. “It helps to talk it over and to have the support of my partner, James, who’s been brilliant at helping me stick to the diet and exercise routine. Her eldest daughter is now at university away from home and has been very supportive: “Cerys is very keen to help me with my fitness and she’s so proud I am doing this for myself and to raise money for diabetes UK. My 10-year-old, son Rhys, is also cheering me on and says he wants to do a few laps with me. The support of my family has been absolutely brilliant”
There are 198,883 people living with diabetes in Wales and 90% of those have type 2. Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. If not managed well, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications, including sight loss, amputation, kidney failure, and stroke. With the right treatment and support, people living with diabetes can lead a long and healthy life.
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru said: “We are delighted that Sian is making a splash for Diabetes UK. Swim22 is perfect if you want to challenge yourself to get fitter at your own pace and in your own time. You can swim in your local pool alone or, better still, get your family, friends, and colleagues involved. Our dedicated team will be on hand to support you from start to finish.”
You can sponsor Sian Jones today as she dives into the challenge and raises money for people living with diabetes across the UK.