A youth worker from Manchester will be putting on her running shoes and taking part in the Great North Run to raise money for Diabetes UK – and ‘help families that are going through the same journey’.
Alice Doherty and her father will be running the gruelling 13.1mile route for brother and son Shane, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes just before Christmas in 2012.
The 29-year-old from Belfast, Northern Ireland, had been very ill the week before Christmas, sleeping for 12 hours at a time, vomiting and experiencing rapid weight loss.
And after visiting his GP was sent straight to hospital after it was found his blood glucose levels were over twice the normal level.
“Shane, was seriously ill when he was admitted to hospital,” said Alice.
“My family prayed that he would make it out in time for Christmas day. As the days went on though we had lost faith that our wish would come true and were more concerned that Shane would just get better.
“But our prayers must have worked because on Christmas Eve, Shane was released just in time to make it to the one shop that was still open to grab his Christmas presents.
“Christmas day last year was a big moment for us. We were so thankful there wasn’t an empty space at the dinner table.”
Since 1996 the number of people diagnosed with diabetes has increased from 1.4million to 3.8million and by 2050 this is expected to rise to five million.
And funds raised by the pair will be used to help raise awareness and give vital support to the millions of people in the UK living with diabetes, something which Shane is all too aware of.
“My diabetes diagnosis felt like slamming into a brick wall,” he said.
“Although I was physically exhausted, I went to Christmas Eve Mass the night I was discharged, and the choir’s singing burst the dam of emotion I had mostly kept bottled up: fear, sorrow, grief, gratitude and relief.
“Tears rolled down my face that night. I personally had a good Christmas though, having had it almost stripped away from me, and I felt closer to my family as a result as they’d been there at the time I needed them most.”
People with Type 1 diabetes have to manage their blood glucose levels through taking daily insulin doses and although there is no cure the cause isn’t obesity.
Diabetes UK, Bupa Events Manager, Fiona Streeter, said: “Each year, 24,000 people with diabetes in England and Wales die before their time, yet their deaths are not inevitable.
“The money Alice Doherty and her father raises will help us to continue to support the 3.8 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK.”
The 13.1mile run from Newcastle Gateshead to South Shields will take place on September 7.
To sponsor Alice and her father click here
Image courtesy of JustGiving, with thanks