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Inspired by her daughter Cara, Sandra took on the 1 Million Step Challenge


Sandra and David Thomson took on 1 Million Steps in 2017. Here’s Sandra’s story:

I first heard about the 1 Million Step Challenge for Diabetes UK on the website. I had been looking out for a fundraiser that I could take part in because it is a charity close to our hearts.

Our daughter, Cara Thomson, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 12 years ago at the age of 7. It has been a bit of a rollercoaster throughout the years but one thing that has remained constant throughout is how Cara has been an inspiration to us all.

She was a very active child and her diagnosis did not change that. She was a competitive swimmer throughout her childhood until she was 16, swimming at National level and she coped admirably with 5am training before school and long hours in the pool.

She is now in her second year at University studying to become a P.E. teacher, living away from home and also teaches swimming as her part time job. I wanted to take up the challenge to raise money to enhance the good work that Diabetes UK does and also to show Cara that we were committed to making the effort to make a difference for all those living each day with this challenging condition.

I know that Cara is proud of us and we raised awareness each time we shared our achievements. 

Stepping up

My husband David did the challenge with me and it became a bit competitive at times. The thing I enjoyed most was the time we spent walking and talking together away from the demands of parenting four kids and both working full time.

We took advantage of the limited Scottish summer and regularly walked along the beautiful Ayrshire and Fife coastlines.

We regularly visit Edinburgh and walked up Arthur’s Seat to enjoy the stunning views of the Capital. For our summer holiday, we travelled to Hamburg in Germany where our son lives very close to the Alster which is a beautiful lake in the city. We completed this 7.5km walk every morning before breakfast then walked everywhere around the city completing over 30,000 steps each day.

The most challenging thing was finding the time to go out for a walk, but I just reminded myself what the challenge was for and things like my housework would still be there when I got back.

I was inspired by the amount of support we had from friends and family in the way of donations who inquired regularly for updates on our step totals.


I was very proud to exceed the 1 Million Step total and raise so much money at the same time. I am very keen to join in the challenge again this year. I have also managed to recruit my friends and family to join in and we are planning to have some regular group walks together.

I have continued with my walking regime since the challenge finished and I have not only lost weight but I can walk at quite a fast pace, and overall have far more energy than I had before the challenge started.

During the challenge, I definitely felt part of a bigger picture and enjoyed reading about other walkers who had signed up for the challenge. I have a very positive outlook on life and believe that if we all pull together we can make a difference by supporting Diabetes UK.

Step it up this summer like Sandra. Join us for the 1 Million Step Challenge. Take 1 million steps between 1 July and 30 September and make strides towards a world where diabetes can do no harm.

Find out more and sign up.

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