JDRF London Awards Evening

On Wednesday 5th February 2014 it was the JDRF London Awards Evening at the Camden Center on Euston Road. It is the JDRF London team’s way of saying thanks to all of their fund raising supporters and I really love the way the team ensure each year they say thanks and encourage people to keep supporting the type 1 diabetes cause.

GBR 30/30 Challenge

Castle Carlisle

I was being thanked for fund raising £3700 for JDRF UK in 2013 for running the GBR 30/30 Challenge which entailed taking on running x30 30 mile (or more..) routes across the UK from John O’Groats to Lands End. I also raised funds to support Diabetes UK and the amount raised was split 50/50 between the charities.

It was an extreme challenge and amazing experience that I would never have gotten through without the support of all the volunteers along the way, mainly associated in diabetes communities across Britain. People putting me up for a night or driving me from A to B so I could be at starting points… people even spending a whole day with me by driving along a support vehicle with my diabetes essentials in hand – and people joining in running parts (or whole days!) with me as well as cycling in support. The journey was arguably the most amazing experience of my life (so far)!

In terms of a challenge that consists of x30 ultra marathons in as many days – that’s huge! So perhaps I am a little disappointed in terms of fund raising that I didn’t manage to bring in the bacon as such, as I raised just over £7,000 for the charities in total. I also raised an additional £1800 to see that I could do the challenge and cover my expenses too. I hope the £7,000 went to good use as I am absolutely sure it did for both charities who make a big difference for the diabetes cause every day. I am only sorry to the charities that I couldn’t raise more as the extremity of this challenge probably deserved to raise more – but I just lacked the support from media and certain promotional areas this time around. Why? I don’t know, maybe being a common 21 year old at the time I wasn’t taken seriously enough – but at the end of it, I completed it! I ran Britain. It was brilliant to have met so many people along the way that just kept me buzzing and motivated to knock dead each route and even finish it off with a sprint after a 40 mile day! And that part is the main part I can say, the fact I live with type 1 diabetes and showed that even something to that extreme was possible. My message to all people with diabetes is this: live your life to the fullest as diabetes cannot stand in your way, with that daily responsibility for your health in terms of blood sugar checks and taking your insulin, diabetes in fact can be served as more of a motivation to you in life to achieve more.

So maybe next time I’ll get taken more seriously by the people that could do more in key areas. But a massive THANK YOU to all those people who donated. Who commented online on twitter and Facebook to cheer me on, who came out from their houses to see me start, finish or just run and to all those people who were involved with the challenge in many ways! You are fantastic and are really the force that got me through it!

JDRF London Awards Evening

jdrf award stage

The evening was really enjoyable for me. I appreciated the kind round of applause after Louise mentioned the challenge from everyone who managed to make it (after the sod’s law tube strike on the day). And more so I appreciated just being there. As I got to see families and young children all affected in life by type 1 diabetes, out there doing their thing, living their lives, making a difference. Different achievements were mentioned as people came up to collect a certificate, people who had volunteered their time for all kinds of activities all in aid of supporting type 1 diabetes research in the UK. That is what keeps me motivated in knowing and seeing things like that. Parents of children with diabetes get thrown into the deep end and instantly have to adapt to it, children have to come to terms with it (which is the hardest part) and then live with it. But there is always hope and those people who spent time last year to do something, whatever it may be, reflect that hope. They are the hope. And we heard it in the speeches that the figures are greatly improving all the time – more so in the last 5 years than the previous 50 put together. One day, and maybe even in the not too distance future, there will be some form of a cure to diabetes in the world. It may take time, it may only be available in certain areas but improvements are being made constantly and this has become possible through the determined work of so many volunteers as I saw in that hall for this event.

So Fundraisers – I solute you. And people with diabetes I urge you to always keep fighting, keep doing your thing and bringing in the funds to support these charities – progress is being made! Whether it is a cake sale, a party or a music concert… a challenge of running for 5km, swimming 10 lengths of your local pool or a challenge of running the UK, rowing the Atlantic, cycling Europe…  it all counts! I challenge you to do a challenge in 2014.. and 2015.. and to always keep doing more!

And all the while I will be here to show you that having type 1 diabetes can never prevent you from fulfilling your dreams in life, whichever they may be, and never prevent you from living your life to the full.

Keep rocking my Diathlete chums.


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