When Matt Edwards lost his sister-in-law in 2015 due to complications with Type 1 diabetes, he made a promise to himself and to her that he would run the marathon quicker than it took the ambulance to arrive. Read his moving story below and why he choose to run for Diabetes UK.
"In September 2015, two days before my 32nd birthday, we had “the call” that everyone dreads. It was very early in the morning, when my wife got a phone call to say her sister was in intensive care and we were to get to the Royal Free Hospital as soon as possible, as it was unlikely she was going to survive.
"Lisa, my sister-in-law, was 27 and a Type 1 diabetic since her early teenage years. She had struggled with her disease and her weight throughout her life, but Lisa was utterly dedicated to trying to live as normal a life as possible. Earlier that day, she had gone in to DKA (diabetic ketoacidocis) whilst staying around a friend’s house. An ambulance was called, but unfortunately the severity of her situation was not realised, and it took 4 hours 44 minutes for medical help to arrive; during which time she suffered a severe heart attack. Five days later, and after a gallant fight, we were told that there was no hope for Lisa and the heart attack had caused her brainstem to die. Thus the family made the horrible decision to turn off the life-support machines that had kept her alive.
"Lisa had planned to run the marathon a couple of times earlier in her life, but complications from her diabetes always got in the way. My last moments with her before the end saw me make a promise that I would run the London Marathon in her name; and that I would beat the time it took for the ambulance to arrive. When it came to choosing a charity to run through, I was drawn to Diabetes UK. Not only because the charity actively commissions and funds vital research in diabetes, but also the vital work they do with the young diabetic community. Through care events, and other such resources, we saw a way that our money could have a real difference to other diabetics, so that Lisa’s legacy could live on.
"Diabetes, both Type 1 and Type 2, is a condition that affects so many people in the UK; so help make an impact for a charity that is making a real difference to people suffering from this disease."
If Matt’s story has inspired you we’d love to have you to join TeamDUK for this year’s London Marathon.Sign up today.