Lucy Wilkinson

The Animas UK Relay Channel Swim Event

Fundraising for JDRF
by 99 supporters
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Lucy Wilkinson's fundraising, 8 February 2011

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We fund research into type 1 diabetes to find a cure for type 1 diabetes


Here at Animas UK & Ireland, we believe that diabetes shouldn’t stop you from achieving your goals, living your life to the full and performing at your best.


Whether your goal is to get to the Olympics, to play an instrument or simply to achieve those day to day wins, we hope that your Animas pump plays its part in helping you perform to your full potential.

To celebrate, we are holding a Channel Swim event in July 2011, from the Dover coast to the French shoreline. Three Animas pumpers are part of the swimming team. Team Captain Mark Blewitt is experienced long distance swimmer and Animas pumper. Claire Duncan, and Matt Cox will be joining Mark for this epic challenge. The team are raising money for JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).


Meet your team!


Mark - have suffered from Type 1 diabetes since the age of 13.  My swimming capabilities started to grow as I started to manage four length crawl without stopping, then it proceeded to eight, 32, and 64 lengths – to reach the magic mile!  I have never allowed my diabetes to hold me back and you can always achieve your goals in life. For those people with diabetes who are anxious about taking on new challenges, don't avoid any activity just plan and prepare - and if it does not work out ask your healthcare team (if you have one) for advice, giving them as much information as possible.

Claire - I am a 40 year old professional musician, born in Suffolk but have lived in London for the past 22 years. After being diagnosed with diabetes aged 23, I became interested in running and subsequently completed over a dozen marathons before moving on to triathlon (swim, bike, run). This ultimately led to competing in “Ironman”, a race distance of 140 miles, undoubtedly my greatest sporting achievement – so far! My other sporting activities are coaching and umpiring hockey. My more relaxing hobbies include signing in a ladies chamber choir, travelling with friends and spending precious time with my gorgeous Weimaraner dogs!


Matt - My name is Matt Cox and I am 38 years old. I have been happily married to Sue for 13 years(14years in July haven't told I could be swimming the channel on that day) and we have two children Jack 8, who is also Type 1 diabetic and Melissa 6. I have been Type 1 diabetic for 25 years. We live in High Lane, Stockport and I have been a self employed plasterer for the last 8 years. Over the years I have enjoyed a number of activities including Mountain Biking, Thai Boxing, Rugby, Skiing, swimming obviously(!) and most recently Body Boarding with my son. This usually takes place in the chilly sea off the coast of wales!  Having two small children keeps me very busy and active and I swim as often as time allows.  Having taken part in the Manchester 10k Run some time ago I have been looking for a new challenge in connection with my diabetes, which I think I may just have found!! 


Although Sara, Jake and Calum were unable to make their qualifying trial swims, they are still a vital part of the Animas UK Relay Channel Swim Team, leading Johnson and Johnson staff in their on site swimmathon.


Sara - My name is Sara, I am 23 and currently live and work in Hull. I was first diagnosed with diabetes when I was nearly 3 in September 1990. I have grown up with the condition not knowing anything else; this is my way of life. I completed my degree in may 2009 graduating with honours and have gone on to also facilitate a programme for diabetics called ‘Getting Sorted’. I manage my diabetes through regular blood glucose testing and my insulin pump. I have been swimming since I was a child and have swum ever since. 


Calum - I am currently a swimming scholar at the University of Stirling where I study and train. I train up to 10 swim sessions per week, 3 weights sessions and 2 core body sessions per week. I regularly compete and have been fortunate to travel to various destinations such as Spain, Germany, Holland, Dubai and South Africa, as well as various parts of the UK for both training purposes and competing. I manage my diabetes with swimming by trying to test regularly and eating enough to allow me to perform at the correct intensity.

I am a fairly outgoing and happy person who enjoys spending time with friends and family, I am also known to be quite competitive! I was born in Glasgow but stayed In Cumbernauld my whole life, until I moved to Stirling for my first year of University and now live in a private flat with a friend and team mate in Stirling. 


Jake - I am Jake Glasby and I live in Birmingham, the furthest point of England from the sea, but still a keen swimmer! I’ve always enjoyed swimming, and began to swim competitively for school in year 6, and carried on to do so into secondary school, captaining the Temperley swimming team for three years running. Diabetes has always posed obvious issues, but over the years I have (with help from the home care team at The Children’s Hospital) to overcome and manage them. My going onto a pump in February 2008 solved many of these problems, but of course posed its own, again, easy to solve and manage. I’m also a keen musician, and play in a folk band gigging around Birmingham playing guitar, piano, mandolin, ukulele and singing.


To help support our swimmers and raise even more money for JDRF, Animas are hosting a Swimathon for all Animas employees. A swim spa has been hired at head office for three months, giving employees the opportunity to relax in the jacuzzi or race against the spa’s simulated fast currents and cold water temperatures -  to mimic the Channel! Mark, Matt, Claire, Sara, Calum and Jake will be visiting the spa to try out a simulated Channel Swim!


They need your help! The team are to raising funds for JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer

So please dig deep and donate now.


About the charity


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JDRF is the world's leading charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research and raise money to drive world class research. We aim to find new ways to treat type 1 diabetes and its complications, prevent type 1 from developing and find the cure for people who already have the condition.

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