With a few challenges along the way, not to mention her diabetes, 20-year-old Zoe completed her Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Zoe, pictured left with sister Linda, right
After becoming diabetic at the age of 10, I have never let it stop me from continuing with a normal life. I am a member of Scouting and have recently competed my Duke of Edingbough Gold Award and Queen Scout award - the highest Scouting award.
Not only was there a challenge with not getting lost whilst navigating a new area, but also my diabetes.
I headed to Wales to compete my award. For this I had to compete four days walking in mountainous conditions.
After a few appointments with my diabetic nurse I had come up with a plan to help me along the way with my sister and close friend and team mate. For this we looked at lowering my insulin levels to eliminate hypos, 20 per cent for the four days walking and 10 per cent for the other active days at the centre.
My aqua check expert monitor really helped this this, from telling me how much insulin to carbs I needed and giving advice if needed. For the expedition I aimed to have my levels between 8- 10 - yes this seems high but didn’t want to hit a hypo.
So after all the food and route planning we headed out on our four-day expedition through the Snowdonia National Park. With physical climbing up our first mountain on the first day I started to wonder why I wanted to do this, but with a brilliant group of friend and my sister there for support we continued on.
With a few more mountainous climbs over the next few day my levels where beginning to level out. But with all expeditions you have a few problems. On our third day we got lost and arrived at our campsite I checked my sugar levels and they had hit the high end teens. After getting some good into me and my insulin they soon came back down to normal levels.
After the four days walking mountainous conditions and many different weathers (well mostly rain), we completed our expedition. After completing my awards the feeling of relief and pride came over me. Not only because I completed the award but had managed to keep my diabetes under control, with only a few minor problems.
A big thank you to my Nurse Sarah Dean at the Paula Carr unit at the William Harvey Hospital Ashford, My sister Linda and family for their support and friend Edward for keeping me motivated. Also a big thank you to my Team Like it or Lump it for helping me though out my DofE gold main expedition.