A mum is taking on a 13-mile challenge to raise money for Diabetes UK after her daughter was diagnosed at 11 months old.
Helen Verwoert, 41, of Woburn Sands, is preparing for the Bupa Great North Run in Newcastle on September 7 for Ella who has Type One diabetes.
Ella, now 11 years old, had some of the main symptoms associated with the condition which include increased thirst, unexplained weight loss, extreme tiredness and frequent urinating.
Helen said: “We became worried about Ella because of the amount she was drinking, she would easily drink 2 or 3 bottles of milk or water in one go so her nappy was always wet.
“She also lost a lot of weight so we got her tested and I was told she had Type 1 diabetes.
“The next few years were some of the hardest because it was difficult to know what exactly what was wrong as Ella was not able to speak yet. We didn’t sleep much as we were always worried that she might lose consciousness if she had a hypo, low blood glucose levels, during the night.
“But now she is pretty much self-managing and works out her carbohydrates and does her own insulin injections. Maybe only twice has she ever said “Why me” which is very hard to hear but she has never allowed it to stop her doing anything.”
Helen hopes to raise over £2,000 and is training three times a week for the half marathon race.
She said. “My big hope for Ella is that one day they find a cure for Type One diabetes and taking part in the Bupa Great North Run I feel like I am doing a small bit to help.”
People with Type One diabetes have to manage their blood glucose levels through taking daily insulin doses. No one knows what causes the condition, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable.
Running, like other forms of physical activity, can help people with diabetes manage their condition more effectively.
Money raised from the Bupa Great Run Series will enable Diabetes UK and Bupa to raise awareness and vital funds to support the 3.8 million people in the UK living with diabetes, including delivering a series of Healthy Lifestyle Roadshows around the UK in 2014 to find those who may have the condition but have not been diagnosed.
Diabetes UK South East Fundraising Manager, Lewis Honeywill, said: “If managed correctly people with diabetes can live healthy, happy lives and I would like to thank Helen Verwoert for signing up to take part in the Bupa Great North Run.
“Diabetes UK is delighted to be the Bupa charity partner for the Bupa Great Run Series in 2014.
“The partnership will enable Diabetes UK and Bupa to raise awareness and vital funds to help support the 3.8 million people in the UK living with diabetes; together we are working towards a future without diabetes.
“The money Helen Verwoert raises will go a long way in helping us to continue to support the 10,800 people diagnosed with diabetes in Milton Keynes to help them avoid some of the serious complications of the condition such as heart disease, stroke and amputation.
“Diabetes UK is delighted to yet again be the Bupa charity partner for the Bupa Great Run Series in 2014.
“Together we are working towards a future without diabetes.”
To sponsor Helen please visit https://www.justgiving.com/Helen-Verwoert2/
For more information on the signs and symptoms of Type 1 diabetes visit www.diabetes.org.uk/The4Ts