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Newport woman with Type 1 diabetes takes on London Marathon

A woman from Newport with Type 1 diabetes is gearing up to run her first ever marathon for Diabetes UK Cymru.

Jessica Loch, 27, only started running 18 months ago, but will be on the starting line of this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 28 April.

Jessica Loch running the Swansea Half Marathon 2018

Type 1 diabetes is a complex, lifelong condition where the body cannot produce the hormone insulin, which controls the amount of sugar in the blood. It affects around 19,000 people in Wales and must be carefully managed day-to-day.

Jessica was diagnosed aged six after her family noticed some concerning symptoms.

Jessica said, “I remember being on holiday with my family and feeling tired all the time. I constantly drank as I was so thirsty. These are two common symptoms of Type 1 diabetes. My aunt is a GP and told my parents to take me to the hospital as soon as possible.

“I have good days and bad days when it comes to my diabetes. In my late teens it wasn’t great. I just wanted to be a normal teenager. It was only as I got a bit older I realised I was only hindering myself by not managing my condition as well as I could have.”

Jessica started running in the lead up to a family wedding and soon got the running bug.

Jessica continued, “My fitness was shocking and I had a bit of weight to lose. I started on the treadmill and soon got up to 5K. I pushed myself to run the Cardiff 10K then persuaded my dad to run the Cowbridge 10K with me. After that I signed up to my first half marathon last June in Swansea, with the aim of doing it in under two and a half hours. I don’t care what time I finish any race in, I just feel pride in completing it – plus I love the medals!”

Jessica hopes to show others living with Type 1 diabetes that the condition should not hold them back.

Jessica continued, “I can’t wait to run over Tower Bridge and see my fiancé Aidan and my family at the finish. The support I’ve had so far has been incredible. Type 1 diabetes is a condition I’ll always have and always have to manage, but it doesn’t hold me back. If I can run a marathon then anyone can!”

Joseph Cuff, Fundraising Manager, Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We’re so proud of Jessica for taking on the iconic London Marathon for us. Running 26.2 miles is no mean feat, especially when you also have to consider managing your Type 1 diabetes, but we hope her story is an inspiration to others living with the condition. We wish Jessica all the best of luck with her training and look forward to cheering her across the line on the day!”

To sponsor Jessica, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jessica-loch1.