A city runner is gearing up for the Milton Keynes Marathon to raise funds for Diabetes UK in memory of someone close who died last year.
Fiona Flaherty has been inspired to run the 26 mile event on Sunday, April 19 after her childhood friend died in his sleep just aged 36. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 20.
His sudden death has been linked to ‘dead in bed’ syndrome, which refers to unexplained deaths in young people with Type 1 diabetes.
Fiona, the 36-year-old tester for a software company in Milton Keynes is an experienced charity run contestant and is all set to start her 25 mile a week training schedule after her recent knee and hip injury.
“It was such a shock when I heard of his death, it was so unexpected. I didn’t know something so terrible like that could happen to people who have diabetes. I want to make others aware of the seriousness of the condition and the possible tragic consequences and I hope running in aid of Diabetes UK charity, I’m able to achieve that”
She added that she wanted to make people who have the condition “Understand the importance of looking after themselves and having regular check ups” as she remembers her grandmother having several toes amputated as a result of diabetes.
Jenny Green, South East Regional Fundraising Manager, said: “We wish Fiona the best of luck with her training and the run. However, we still have places available so if anyone is interested in taking part they should get in touch. All runners will get a Diabetes UK running vest and a fundraising pack.
Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK today and the money raised will help improve the care and support available for people affected by the condition.’’ Close to 10,000 people in Milton Keynes have diabetes and a further 3,400 are believed to have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is serious: if not diagnosed early enough or managed effectively, the condition can lead to devastating complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputation.