Read stories from our hero fundraisers. Whether it’s running, cycling, walking or jumping, we’re lucky to have people push themselves to the limit and join us in fighting for a world where diabetes can do no harm.

Connor on a walk

One Million Step Challenge

Image of Connor's Step Success

This year Connor wanted to take on the One Million Step Challenge in support of Diabetes UK as he and his family use the resources on a weekly basis and would be lost without it. Through all his hard work in taking on this challenge he hopes his fundraising can support research in technology to help more people manage their diabetes – it can be incredibly lifechanging.

I am super proud of him! All through the rainy summer, he still put his coat on and went out to get his steps up. He finished the last day of the challenge travelling home from a family holiday in Spain. His school, St. John’s Primary School in Carnlough, has also been fantastic in supporting him during the challenge. His teacher Miss Cosgrove is not only amazing at what she does, but also promotes Connor’s independence with his diabetes and was so supportive in helping him complete his steps. His classmates have been wonderful too and even joined in with him for the last few legs of the challenge.

(Connor beat his initial £150 target to raise £710. He was aiming to walk one million steps but ended up walking around one million three hundred thousand steps)

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

Great North Run

The Great North Run is well known for having a fantastic atmosphere and it has been on my running bucket list for several years. I love running in cities and towns, the support from big crowds brings great energy to runners and can help you to get over the finish line. I have applied unsuccessfully to run the Great North Run for about 5 consecutive years. I don’t seem to have much luck in ballots, so I was excited to finally get a place. I plan to enjoy every step.

Running gives, me the opportunity to visit new places and to connect with the supporting crowd. I cannot wait to meet the Diabetes UK team on the day of the Great North Run. I have never been to Newcastle and I am really looking forward to seeing the sights.


Preparation for the Great North Run is going well and I am getting excited for the event. I do not follow a technical training plan; I prefer to listen to my body and how it is feeling. If I feel good then I can up the mileage and then rest and recover. I always train specifically for the next race whatever it is. Whether it is a 10km, a half marathon or a full marathon, I respect every distance and I envisage the finish line when I am training.

For those thinking of signing up

I would say just do it! Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and believe in yourself. It also helps to think about all the health benefits that signing up to the Great North Run could bring to you.

If you never run another race again, then what an amazing achievement, or you could get bitten by the running bug and it could be the start of a great new hobby.

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A photo of Joanne standing on a stone bridge by a river, smiling to camera

JoanneFound out she was at increased risk of type 2 diabetes after completing the Know Your Risk tool.

Raising money for Diabetes UK

I got into outdoor swimming in May 2020, during the first lockdown. I'd enjoyed indoor swimming before but couldn’t do that anymore during the early days of the pandemic. I started going with a friend and quickly became addicted! We built up an amazing local community of swimmers, which inspired me to swim more regularly in the river.  

Signing up to Swim22 

My daughter knew how much swimming I was doing anyway and shared Diabetes UK’s Swim22 challenge with me, which I decided to do in 2021.  

I committed to the challenge, where you swim the equivalent of the length of the English Channel in 12 weeks, and thought it would be easy since I already loved swimming. I ended up swimming loads more than I usually would and really pushed myself to finish it. I raised £324 and felt really proud of myself. 

One of my big inspirations to do the challenge was my close friend Steph, who lives with type 1. Seeing the tech diabetes tech she uses, I just think it’s an amazing way for people with diabetes to improve their lives and have less hassle day to day.

Seeing how things have changed since my grandad was alive is just astonishing. He would have been diagnosed probably in the 1930s or 1940s. He had to use massive needles for his insulin, which had to be sterilised daily, and I remember my grandmother using old-fashioned weighing scales to religiously portion all his food. Things have come on massively since then and funding research into these technological advancements was a massive inspiration for me to fundraise, so it can keep going. 

Read Joanne's complete story
A selfie of Milesh and his wife smiling at the camera

Milesh LakhaniDiagnosed with type 3c diabetes in 2021.

Getting family involved

I did the One Million Step challenge last year and it became a bit of a family affair. My children, who are now eleven and nine, did a million steps between them, and my parents got involved too. I do enjoy the challenge and it’s good to have a goal and something to motivate you. I enjoyed it so much I signed up again this year, as has my wife, sister, and brother. We will be doing the London Bridges Challenge at the end of September as well, as a family. I also did the London to Brighton cycle ride, which I loved and managed to raise over £2,000.  

My daughter comes for walks with me to get our steps up, which is really nice. Both my children have an awareness of my diabetes and will frequently check in to make sure I’ve taken my insulin. I think my diabetes has had an impact on those around me. My family have also made lifestyle changes, as they know how important it is. 

Advice for others

Living with diabetes needs constant attention – it’s a 24-hour a day condition and there’s no getting away from that. You also need to take your diagnosis seriously, as if you don’t then you put yourself at risk of complications 

A lot of mental energy is taken up thinking about what you can and can’t eat. However, my message for others, especially those wanting to make changes to their diet and lifestyle, would just be to keep going. You are bound to have rough days. Sometimes you wake up and just want to be able to eat and drink whatever you want, and not worry about anything. But consistency is really important – if you have a wobble with food that’s ok, just get back on track.  

I feel in a good place now and my hope for the future is to stay healthy and raise greater awareness of type 3c, so more people understand the condition.     

Read Milesh Lakhani's complete story
Linda wearing an every step counts t-shirt holding a certificate saying stepping superstar

Linda Potts-Neate

Different approach

Last year, at my community centre I held a raffle and put a collection box there too. And I raised quite a lot from that as well as online fundraising.

But this year, I’m thinking of other ways to raise money. I like photography, so I might buy some cheap frames and do a photo sale.

On my Facebook page, I do a post every week or two and tag in everyone’s name starting with A the first week, and B the next, so I cover everyone individually, and I get quite a few donations that way. 

Read Linda Potts-Neate's complete story
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