Michelle Whittal-Williams

Team Diabetes

Fundraising for Diabetes UK
raised of £400 target
by 25 supporters
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Participants: Michelle Whittal-Williams, Laura Jones, Sarah Bruce and Krystle Gunning
Diabetes UK

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We are fighting to make a world where diabetes does no harm


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Five colleagues from the Hywel Dda University Health Board are running the JCP Swansea Half Marathon to support Diabetes UK Cymru.

Michelle Whittal-Williams, a medical secretary, Laura Jones, a dietitian, Ann-Marie Martin , a dietician and two specialist diabetes nurses, Krystle Gunner and Sarah Bruce, are all based at the Diabetes Centre at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen. They were inspired to take up the challenge by their patients.

Michelle, 43, said, “Every day we see people living with diabetes who are facing really challenging situations. The condition can be tough, but the way they deal with the struggles it can throw up is really inspiring. My grandfather had Type 1 diabetes and my stepfather has Type 2 diabetes, so I also understand the impact it can have on a family.

“The four of us wanted to do something to raise awareness of how tough living with diabetes can be as well as raise money to support Diabetes UK Cymru, as it is a condition that affects so many people. We’re all fitting our training around our family and work commitments, but we’re determined to have a great race and to make our patients proud.”

The four colleagues are experienced runners, with more than ten half marathons between them. Nevertheless they are training hard for the event on Sunday 23 June, and earlier this month they won the team event at the annual Carmarthen Mayor’s 5K Fun Run.

Sarah, 42, continued, “Working with people who are living with diabetes and completing sporting challenges is so inspirational. I have helped patients who have completed triathlons and epic bike rides. They have to overcome so many more challenges besides the usual training woes and it makes me feel so proud to see what they achieve.

“I have done five half marathons before and it’s a distance that feels challenging but achievable. We are training separately but encouraging each other via a Whatsapp group, and comparing training when we see each other at work. Our patients motivate us all when the training gets tough.”

More than 194,000 people in Wales are living with diabetes, the highest prevalence in the UK. 90 per cent of these are living with Type 2 diabetes. If not managed well, diabetes can lead to devastating complications, including sight loss, amputation, kidney failure and stroke.

Dai Williams, National Director, Diabetes UK Cymru, said, “We’re delighted to have Michelle, Laura, Krystle and Sarah on our team for this year’s race and can’t wait to cheer them across the finish line. We’re so grateful to them for taking part and helping to support people living with diabetes all across Wales.”

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About the charity

Diabetes UK

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Diabetes UK is the charity leading the fight against the UK's devastating and fastest growing health crisis, working to create a world where diabetes can do no harm. It’s a fight that involves all of us – sharing knowledge and taking diabetes on together. Join us.

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