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Connor’s One Million Step Success

Nine-year-old Connor recently finished his One Million Step Challenge, raising a fantastic £710 to help our work here at Diabetes UK.

Connor on a walk
Connor's mum: "I am super proud of him! All through the rainy summer, he still put his coat on and went out to get his steps up."

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in March 2020, just one week after the schools closed due to Covid, Connor has since been on a mission to raise money for different diabetes charities. A big thank you to Connor’s mum Kiera for sharing his amazing fundraising achievement and more around his journey with type 1 diabetes since diagnosis.


Connor's diagnosis

Connor was diagnosed around three and half years ago, just one week after the schools closed due to the Covid pandemic. Due to the unknown around Covid and everything that come with his sudden diagnosis, this was honestly one of the scariest times in my life.

Image of Connor in his one million steps hoodie

As soon as he was discharged, he had to do 12 weeks of shielding – meaning no visitors and no support. At that time, we only ever had one face-to-face with a diabetic nurse. Our paediatric diabetic nursing team in Braid Valley Hospital in Ballymena were and continue to be absolutely amazing. They kept in touch multiple times a day and all classes and appointments were done via Zoom instead. Thankfully, we didn’t miss out on any care due to the pandemic – everything was virtual and they did what they could. We also had regular phone appointments with the team counsellor who was a saviour during that time. Connor's nurse knows us better than anyone and we would be absolutely lost without our team.

We used lockdown to our advantage and changed our home-schooling to all things diabetes. He was only six and we learnt all about carb counting, healthy eating, injecting, the science behind his condition, and lots more.


One Million Step Challenge

Image of Connor's Step Success

This year Connor wanted to take on the One Million Step Challenge in support of Diabetes UK as he and his family use the resources on a weekly basis and would be lost without it. Through all his hard work in taking on this challenge he hopes his fundraising can support research in technology to help more people manage their diabetes – it can be incredibly lifechanging.

I am super proud of him! All through the rainy summer, he still put his coat on and went out to get his steps up. He finished the last day of the challenge travelling home from a family holiday in Spain. His school, St. John’s Primary School in Carnlough, has also been fantastic in supporting him during the challenge. His teacher Miss Cosgrove is not only amazing at what she does, but also promotes Connor’s independence with his diabetes and was so supportive in helping him complete his steps. His classmates have been wonderful too and even joined in with him for the last few legs of the challenge.

(Connor beat his initial £150 target to raise £710. He was aiming to walk one million steps but ended up walking around one million three hundred thousand steps)

Journey with diabetes

Managing diabetes

Connor has learnt to manage his diabetes really well and has great support surrounding him. In some cases, his friends are more understanding than some adults. They all learnt about Connor’s condition from Connor himself. They look after him, they know when to grab an adult for help, and they don’t even bat an eyelid when Connor has to stop and finger prick or eat a snack in class if needed.  

"My advice for any parents of children living with diabetes is that it does get easier, it becomes your normal – education and awareness play a big part in that and are key. Celebrate the good days when they come around, and don't be afraid to try new things!"

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