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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Linda's story: the One Million Step Challenge gave me a purpose

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Linda

Supports her husband who was diagnosed in his teens

The One Million Step Challenge gave me a purpose, something to focus on.

Linda is an official friend of the One Million Step Challenge, and she’s taking it on again this year to support her husband, John who has type 1 diabetes. Having originally set a target of £200 in 2019, Linda raised a staggering £2,567 to fight for a world where diabetes can do no harm.

Journey with diabetes

Linda's experience with diabetes

  • 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 was overwhelmed by the support she received for the One Million Step Challenge 2019
  • She's sees the challenge as something to focus on

Emotions

Challenges and emotions

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, and 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.

 

Impact on family

In July, our family holiday was cut short as John 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.

Fundraising

Fundraising success

The support I received from friends and neighbours, and even strangers was unbelievable. I set a modest target of £200 as so much fundraising goes on. But my total reached £2500!

Social media, word of mouth, coffee mornings, cheese and wine evenings, student hockey tour cake sale, hiking up Pen y Fan all raised this.

Diabetes UK and me

Linda's involvement

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.

 

If you're inspired by Linda and would like to take part in a challenge to support people living with diabetes go to our fundraising events page.

 

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