A mum from Denbigh is taking on the 1 Million Step Challenge for Diabetes UK Cymru to support her daughter who has Type 1 diabetes.
Karen Morris’s daughter Sioned, now 22, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes aged 16.
Karen will be walking one million steps between 1 July and 30 September to raise vital funds to help the charity support other people living with diabetes in Wales, and their families. She will need to walk 10,000 steps a day to reach her target.
Karen said: “Sioned’s aunt had said Sioned was looking slimmer, but we put it down to a teenage growth spurt. Later we were shopping and the only dress that fit her was for ages 12 to 13. She was also drinking a lot. I knew something must be wrong and even wondered if she might have an eating disorder.
“We went to the GP as Sioned had pins and needles down her leg. When I mentioned her other symptoms, he suggested she might be diabetic and recommended a blood test. The next day the doctor phoned, saying I needed to bring her to hospital straight away.
“You often hear about Type 2 diabetes in the news but we didn’t know much about Type 1. It didn’t sink in until they told us more about it and what it would mean. If we had left it much longer she could have slipped into a coma. Sioned took it in her stride, but I felt the world had crumbled.”
Sioned is now managing her condition well. She graduated from Glyndwr University and now works at a day nursery while studying for her Level 3 Diploma in Child Care.
Karen continued: “Sioned inspires us all. She has blips sometimes, but if she has a hypo at work her colleagues know what to do. Getting positive feedback from her healthcare team reassures her she’s doing OK. She’s very open about her insulin injections and making more people aware will increase others’ understanding. I’m so proud of her and everything she has achieved.
“I like a challenge and knowing that our fundraising will help raise awareness and fund research. It will help me get fit and healthy too. One million sounds a lot but when you break it down it’s achievable.”
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
Joseph Cuff, Fundraising Manager, Diabetes UK Cymru, said:
“We’re so grateful to Karen for taking up our challenge, and help raise vital funds to help other people living with diabetes in Wales, and their families.
“People can walk it, jog it or dance it! There are so many ways people can reach one million steps. You can take on the challenge alone or 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 Karen and support her efforts.”
To sponsor Karen, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sioned-morris.
To find out more about the One Million Step Challenge, visit https://www.diabetes.org.uk/million-step.