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Jennie, 36, walks One Million Steps to mark one year with Type 1 diabetes

A woman from Cardiff is taking on the 1 Million Step Challenge for Diabetes UK Cymru, one year after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

Jennie Humphreys, 36, from Roath, was diagnosed with the condition in May 2017. She wanted to take on the challenge to do something positive for the charity.

Jennie, a dietitian, had some knowledge of diabetes but still didn’t expect to get a diagnosis, as she thought the chances of being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in adulthood were slim compared to childhood. However, 1 in 5 cases of the condition are diagnosed in people aged over 40.

The 1 Million Step Challenge takes place between 1 July and 30 September and invites people to push themselves out of their comfort zone by taking one million steps over three months and get sponsored for every stride. It will take Jennie at least 10,000 steps a day to reach her million.

Jennie said:

“I had visited the GP about something completely unrelated. The blood test results took about a week to come back and during that time I experienced what I now know are common symptoms of Type 1 diabetes. I drank one bottle of water and straight away went back for a second. I was falling asleep after work and even taking a nap during the day. I had also lost a lot of weight very quickly.

Jennie added: “Getting used to life with Type 1 has been challenging. Going from being fit and healthy to being told you have a chronic condition that you have to manage every day is really big to get your head around. I felt quite isolated but a diabetes education course earlier this year really helped. I met other people a similar age to me and it showed me I am managing well.

“It takes a lot of discipline to stay on top of the condition. I get frustrated sometimes but it doesn’t stop me doing anything.

“We are a very active family; we love walking and all love our Fitbits! The challenge will be a great way to spend some quality time outdoors as a family. We are also quite competitive, so I’m looking forward to comparing how many steps we’ve each reached.”

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition that affects around 19,000 adults in Wales. People with the condition don’t produce the hormone insulin, which is responsible for controlling the amount of glucose in the blood. Nobody knows what causes Type 1 diabetes and it isn’t currently preventable.

Diabetes UK Cymru’s Know Type 1 campaign aims to raise awareness of the common early symptoms of Type 1 diabetes, known at the 4 Ts: Toilet, Thirsty, Tired, Thinner. If you notice spot any of these symptoms, go to your doctor immediately for a finger-prick test.

Joseph Cuff, Fundraising Manager, Diabetes UK Cymru, said:

“It’s really important to be aware that Type 1 diabetes is not something that only develops in children and to look out for the symptoms. Life with the condition can be challenging, but we’re so grateful to Jennie for getting her whole family together to raise awareness and raise vital funds to help other people living with diabetes in Wales.

“There are so many ways people can reach one million steps. You can take on the challenge alone or like Jennie get your family, friends and colleagues involved. You can even split the million steps between a team to make it easier. Every penny raised will help us to support the millions of people living with diabetes in the UK so please give generously to back Jennie and support her efforts.”

To sponsor Jennie, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jennie-humphreys.

To find out more about the 1 Million Step Challenge, visit https://www.diabetes.org.uk/million-step.