Diabetes UK and me

We’re here to support everyone affected by diabetes. Whether that’s through our online community, our wealth of online information, or the fundraising events we run — we are continuing to fight for a world where diabetes can do no harm.

Lucy holds 7 medals up. She is smiling and wearing her Diabetes UK Vest.

My marathon journey

I started running in 2017, I ran a few half marathons and 4 full marathons in the space of about 4 years. In the Autumn of 2021, I decided to set myself the challenge of running 12 marathons in 12 months to raise money for Diabetes UK.   This was a big deal to me, to stay injury free, fit and well enough to complete such a massive challenge

There are so many favourite moments, but one stands out. I was running the Manchester Marathon in 2022. I ran in to Deansgate, I could see myself wearing my Diabetes UK top on a giant screen. The race commentator read out my name and told the supporting crowd that I was running 12 Marathons in 12 Months for Diabetes UK in memory of James. The support was amazing. It was a very proud moment for me and if I was feeling concerned about the challenge ahead, it reminded me exactly why I was doing it.

In July 2022, at the Wales Marathon, I finished my 12 Marathons in 12 Months challenge. It was a tough course, but I was proud that I had finished the task ahead of schedule - I had completed 12 marathons in 10 months! I had enjoyed the challenge so much that it was no surprise to my family and friends that I continued to run marathons. I totalled 14 during that 12 month period.

I had started the campaign not really knowing what I was capable of, if indeed I would be able to stay fit, well and complete it. The person that began that challenge was not the same person who finished. I had more confidence. I was stronger, fitter and believed in myself.

I had enjoyed fundraising and flying the Diabetes UK flag so much that I realised I couldn’t give it up! So, I carried on running. I recently completed marathon number 28 and I have plenty more booked, well in to 2024. I would also like to start running marathons abroad.  

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Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged 16


Diabetes UK offers a wealth of information for people with all types of diabetes. The forum is particularly useful if you have a very nuanced issue with equipment, odd glucose levels or guidance. The helpline is also a great support given how tricky it can be to get hold of community nurses or diabetic specialists within the NHS for those niggly questions.

Personal support

My friends and husband are incredibly supportive of my diabetes. Mainly by treating me no differently from if I didn't have it. They are very much hands-off unless something goes amiss. I think it's all about educating friends so they can understand the high-level issues or warning signs so they feel confident too.

They are all aware of the signs of hypo and will happily and quickly move in with some carbs if I sound like I'm going low. But they're not overly fretful given the Libre and my usual sound control, the perfect mix for a busy person like me!

"The Freestyle Libre has really been a game changer as my husband will quickly ask me 'how are your levels?' and within an instant, it can put our mind to rest."


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Kayleigh Steel


Speaking out

I don’t like talking about myself, and it’s only in the past year that I’ve been more open. I’ve now started talking to my family about diabetes and mental health, and I volunteer with Diabetes UK – I don’t want other younger people with type 2 diabetes to feel like they can’t talk about it.  

In April 2023 I went to Parliament to talk about my mental health experiences, and I appeared on ‘Diabetes Discussions – a Diabetes UK Podcast’ as a guest on Episode 4: Mental Wellbeing. I feel passionately that young people with type 2 need greater mental health support, and that we need to break the stigma that exists around age and type 2.  

I think if I’d have got help with my mental health at 19, it would’ve positively impacted my eating patterns. Moreover, I likely would’ve exercised more, and I probably wouldn’t have got into so much debt at uni. 

I want other younger people to get info on type 2 diabetes at the right time, and actual practical support and advice. 

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Sam Dottin


Moving foward

In June 2023, my nurse called me one morning and said that I was being given a 3-month trial of a Dexcom ONE CGM. I was ecstatic! 

Being at Diabetes UK gave me the confidence to push for this, and within just a few days of using the CGM I noticed that stress and anxiety were factors for my blood sugar being higher.  

My blood glucose levels are now better than they’ve been since I was diagnosed, and I feel like I’m much more in control of my health.  

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Katie Lamb's story


Getting involved

I am an advocate for young people with diabetes and look for opportunities to engage young people in diabetes spaces and to create moments where creative collaboration amplifies the voices of people from across the community. 

I am a member of several diabetes networks and engage regularly with young adult diabetes spaces, including as a young leader for the Diabetes UK Our Lives, Our Choices, Our Voices project, and as an Expert by Experience for the Diabetes Research Steering Group for children and young people. 

One thing I wish I’d known is that you don’t have to reach for perfection. Good enough is often good enough, and you’re more than just the number you see on the screen. 

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