Linda is taking part in the One Million Step Challenge and fundraising to support her husband, John who has Type 1 diabetes. Having originally set a fundraising target of £200, Linda has already raised a staggering £2,425.63 and is determined to raise even more. Here she shares her story.
Married to John for 35 years who has Type 1 diabetes and was diagnosed as a teenager
Over the years John's hypos have become more frequent which is worrying to his family
Linda has been overwhelmed by the support she has received for the One Million Step Challenge
She's sees the challenge as something to focus
I grew up two doors from John, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was in his teens. We have been married for 35 years. When he was younger it was quite a novelty if he experienced a hypo. It caused much amusement believe it or not, as he usually could not stop laughing! Over the years and with age, the laughter disappeared. Hypos were more often, more serious. Christmas Eve 2018 was spent in A&E as for the first time I witnessed ketoacidosis. He had also lost hypo-awareness and had to surrender his driving licence. His glucose levels are ranging from dangerous highs to unreadable lows.
The One Million Step Challenge flashed up on Facebook at probably my lowest point and it gave me a purpose.
Friends and family
In July our family holiday was cut short as he was rushed to Swindon Hospital. His blood glucose and ketone levels were off the scale. The impact on us all is immense and made more difficult as John does not comprehend the affect it has on myself and our son. Having to deal with near collapses whenever he's away from the house, to constant disturbed sleep, mood swings, confiscating sweets etc. Then John was given a Libre (flash glucose monitoring system), it's brilliant! Plus the support we are now receiving from the Diabetic nurses is incredible and a true life saver. I cannot thank our consultant and the team enough.
The support I have had from friends and neighbours, and even strangers has been unbelievable. I set a modest target of £200 as so much fundraising goes on. But my total so far is over £2,425.63! Social media, word of mouth, coffee mornings, cheese and wine evenings, student hockey tour cake sale, hiking up Pen y Fan all raised this. I hope to enquire to local businesses during September in the hope I can add even more to my total.
The support we are receiving is excellent. But I am aware that not everyone may receive the same level of support. Support groups are not for everyone, but support from specialists needs to be readily available. Educating people on diabetes management, making them aware of the dangers of mismanagement and new technology such as the Libre are all so important.
My biggest reward has been people coming up to me and saying they had no idea how serious diabetes is until they had heard me speak. I will continue to increase awareness – it just may save a life one day.
It's something to focus on, someway of repaying some of the care we are receiving. Something other than chasing up medical appointments and constant monitoring and observing. It has helped keep me sane.
"I will continue to increase awareness – it just may save a life one day"
If you're inspired by Linda and would like to take part in a challenge to support people living with diabetes, click the button below.