I feel that I’ve neglected to write much about the real reason WHY I am running a half marathon every month in 2019. There are lots of reasons, but one main one. I am raising money for a cause dear to my heart. I am running to raise money to help researchers FIND A CURE FOR TYPE ONE DIABETES!! I don’t have Type 1 myself, but people close to me do/did.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition – it’s caused by the body essentially attacking its own cells, destroying the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. This leads to a lifelong dependency on injected insulin. It’s what is nowadays termed a long term condition – what that means is that you have it forever. Right now there’s no cure.
When I started writing this blog one of the aims was to raise awareness of what Type One Diabetes is all about. In this I feel I have somewhat failed. I have been sidetracked by cake. And running. Partly this is because I find them easy to write about. Partly it is because I sometimes feel a bit helpless writing about a condition that I don’t have.
In this post I’m going to point you to just a couple of the great blogs and amazing people out in the Type 1 world. They can enlighten you much better than I can to what it means to have a condition where you are constantly thinking about what you eat, what your blood glucose level is, and what you are going to do in terms of injecting insulin to keep yourself going.
Not only do these amazing people have Type 1, they have demanding jobs AND they manage to write blogs, do podcasts, walk several thousand miles, raising awareness and money along the way.
Recently I listened to a super podcast by the inimitable Miss Jen Grieves, talking to a fellow Type Oner Peter Davies who has had Type 1 since 1958. He spoke about the ‘old days’ of testing sugar in urine using a mini chemistry kit, that only told you approximately what your blood glucose was 4 hours ago. He also talked about the injecting apparatus – re-using and re-sharpening hypodermic needles! Can you believe it? Well I can. Although I don’t remember my dad actually sharpening his needles I certainly remember him re-using them, and storing them in surgical spirits.
Jen Grieves has a wonderful blog, and now several brilliant podcasts. If you are not sure about what living with Type 1 is like, and you don’t know anyone to ask, have a listen to her podcasts – I promise you will learn a lot. I am certainly learning a lot!
Another person I found on social media (Instagram) is Eliza Bartlett. Eliza is an Australian cricketer. She walked over 4,000 miles from southern Italy to Aberdeen in Scotland earlier this year to raise money for JDRF Australia. She did this on her own for virtually the whole way. She has Type 1, and I simply cannot imagine how difficult it must have been to manage her diet and insulin while walking all that way through different countries. She also managed to plan her route to take in several cricket matches, and even played some golf! It was an incredible, inspiring achievement that makes running a mere half marathon every month seem like peanuts! This article in The Cricketer is a great report of her journey.
If you are on Instagram search the hashtag #typeoneawareness. There are lots of people posting about their lives with Type One. If you want to understand just a little about what it’s like take a look.
Another great place to go is the JDRF website – chock full of information in easily understandable form. November is Diabetes Awareness Month. You may think you know about diabetes – but do you really know about Type One diabetes? Check out the quiz!
On Sunday I am running half marathon number 11, and I am really looking forward to it. I won’t have to worry about my blood glucose at the beginning of the run. I won’t have to worry about it half way through. I won’t have to worry about it at the end. Why?Because my pancreas will just deal with converting glucose and glycogen into energy as my muscles need it. I’m lucky. Let’s help JDRF fund the research that will find a cure for Type One.
Please consider donating to my fund raising page here. And a BIG thank you to those friends and family who already have!