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.

Where it all began

In just a couple of weeks’ time, I’ll be tackling the 100-mile cycle around Lough Neagh – while it is such a significant challenge, it’s not my first lap and certainly won’t be my last! This concept all started quite some time ago as a way for me to support my wife’s line dancing class, Brookmount Dance Ranch, in their endeavour to raise funds for local charities. This is my first time back at the challenge since Covid, and it is made all the more special by the fact that it also happens to be my 60th birthday!

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"Helping Eddie and all the children with diabetes"


When I told Harrison about the walk, he said he would like to do it to help Eddie and all the children with diabetes, so we signed up and started a fundraising page.

Eddie and his dad are coming to Cardiff to cheer us on. We’re quite an active family and love the outdoors. We go out walking quite a lot, but Harrison hasn’t walked eight miles before so it’s going to be a challenge for him, I’m sure! I am hoping the walk will be lots of fun and we get to meet other families on the day. Harrison has asked that we take lots of chocolates and sweets in our backpack to keep us going.

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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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Lady stands by a canal smiling into the 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. 

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