I wanted to do something that not only would make my brother proud, but something he would have done with his mates as a dare!
Jill’s brother, Mike, passed away in 2013 from health complications brought on by his diabetes. Jill wanted to commemorate Mike with something truly fitting of his character, here’s why she chose to do a Firewalk in his memory:
Jill braves the firewalk
At 21, my brother was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I was only 7 at the time so didn’t really understand anything about it.
Later on in life, he would get injured in various forms and these would always result in visits to the hospital. More years, more injuries, until 2012 when things started to get really bad. Mike was collapsing and having black outs.
It wasn’t until he was admitted into hospital on Boxing Day 2012 that we realised how serious this all was.
Mike's kidneys were failing due to his diabetes and high blood pressure. He hadn’t told us how bad it actually was until then. He'd had his eyes lasered a few times before but this really came as a shock to us. He stayed in hospital over Christmas and New Year. He’d gained several stone due to water retention and was placed in the High Dependency Unit at the Royal Liverpool Hospital.
He was released from hospital on 25 January and died at home in his sleep on 28 January from heart failure. All as a result from diabetes and the complications surrounding it.
Mike was my hero. We were very close, in the years until I was around four years old I literally went everywhere with him and his friends. I was his shadow.
He was always the one to do something silly at a party. Always the clown. The firewalk was something I could see him doing and relate to him in a way I couldn’t before. “
Jill, family and friends raised £515 for Diabetes UK in memory of Mike.