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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Jon's story: taking on the Royal Parks Half Marathon to raise awareness

Jon smiling at the camera

Jon

Diagnosed in 2015.

Preparing for a half marathon while showing my struggles with diabetes. It's a good way to show the world life does not stop with diabetes.

Jon is taking on the Royal Parks Half Marathon this October as a personal challenge and to show that anything is possible.

Diabetes UK and me

Jon's journey with type 2 diabetes

Back in 2015, I had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and four years later my designated nurse (a true hero!) suspected something else was underlying. She managed to put me on a series of tests which permitted to confirm my condition was LADA, which stands for Latent Auto-immune Diabetes in Adult. It is often referred as diabetes type 1.5. 

Very little is known and, thereby, said about this condition and it can lead to a lack of understanding from both the public, the medical professionals not specialised in diabetes and the people newly diagnosed. 

I was one of them. It took me time to figure out how much insulin I should take, what I should eat and how to fit this new 'thing' into my lifestyle... which is never going to be the same anyway. Diabetes UK were there to support me. They do more than supporting researchers, they provide a shelter for people, like me, who are seeking advice and guidance.

Fundraising

Raising awareness

I sincerely hope people and the medical sector would be more aware of what diabetes really is. So, raising awareness is my priority really. I want people to see how tricky life become's with diabetes: 

  • carb counting
  • taking insulin every day
  • prick testing (up to 14 times a day in my case) 
  • not eating and drinking what we want

I am also not allowed to drive since I suffer from hypoglycaemic unawareness. I cannot feel when I am going hypo, hence the constant prick testing. 

Taking on the Royal Parks Half Marathon

I am a keen swimmer (former water polo professional player) and like running. It was easy before I got into taking insulin and have to juggle with blood sugar levels managements and training. I have never run a half marathon before - it is on its own a challenge which I wanted to share with my friends and family who don’t really get what I am going through. And finally, rather than keeping to a closed circle, I thought it might be beneficiary to many more people. 

Preparing for a half marathon while showing my struggles with diabetes is I believe a good way to show the world life does not stop with diabetes, it just requires some organisation and good practice. 

I train every week, at least 3 times running and 2 times swimming. Before it was easy, I would just get my gears on and go.

Today I am checking my blood sugar levels are high enough before I can do any exercise. I went hypo many times while training on long distance run's which pushed me into starting a diary on Strava where I prick test every 5km to monitor the evolution of my blood sugar. I also add what I eat and how I feel. 

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