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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Vicki's story: walking 1 million steps in memory of son's friend

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Vicki

Son's friend passed away age 18.

If my fundraising can support just one person with this condition, I will be happy.

After a friend of her son's passed away from diabetes complications, Vicki decided to walk one million steps to raise money for Diabetes UK.

Journey with diabetes

Vicki's experience with diabetes

Just over a year ago a friend of my son died. He was just 18 years old, had type 1 diabetes, and had always struggled with managing his insulin levels. He’d just started university and wasn’t settling in very well and after two weeks he came home, telling his dad he didn’t want to return.

His dad encouraged him to go back and give it another chance, not knowing that the day before, he had been to A&E at the local hospital, concerned that he’d taken too much insulin. Unfortunately, the hospital sent him away without carrying out further tests, and Brad returned to university, slipped into a coma and never regained consciousness.

The funeral was on Armistice Day and the church was packed with his friends. You think, this shouldn’t be happening; it should be someone much older.

I was beside myself, but as somebody that likes to be proactive and take on challenges to raise funds for causes that mean something to me, I decided that I was going to do the same in his memory.

I saw a feature on my Facebook feed from Diabetes UK about walking a million steps and thought – I can do that!

Activity

Doing the 1 Million Step Challenge

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I walk everywhere. I signed up for it and started up the Just Giving page and then discovered the challenge was harder than I thought it was going to be.

You have three months to walk the 1 million steps, which is an average of 10,400 per day. Using my Fitbit to help me keep track of the steps, I became determined to walk everywhere. Taking the stairs, using toilets further from my desk, walking the dog multiple times a day – come rain or shine!

All this walking has helped me to lose weight and inspired me to join a slimming club to make sure I am as healthy and active as I can possibly be. I finally hit my weight loss target in May 2018, losing almost 40 pounds and shrinking from a size 16 to a size 10.

The day I knew I’d hit the million steps, it was a weekend and that Saturday I had just 90 steps to do. I took a phone call from my son in the middle of the night who was out with his friends in Newbury. I got in the car in my pyjamas at 3.30am, and completed those 90 steps rescuing my son!

My final step count on 30 September was 1,153,831 – just under 461 miles.

You can do so many things – from walking across London bridges to smaller things you can incorporate into your everyday life. I don’t have the money to donate vast sums myself, so my advice is to put yourself out there – you’ll be pleasantly surprised how many people are willing to help.

 

Find out more and sign up to the 1 Million Step Challenge

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