James O'Neill

James's 40th Type One Diabetic Anniversary Event 20th March

Fundraising for Diabetes UK
raised of £3,000 target
by 47 supporters
Diabetes UK

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


Thank you for taking the time to read my journey, 

On March 2022 it will be my 40th type one
diabetic anniversary. I intend celebrating this milestone by holding a charity event on Sunday 20th March at
Trilogy leisure centre lings forum Northampton from 1pm till 3pm, I’m hoping to row at least 5 miles (1hour) and hand cycle one hour,  I am hoping to hold
a raffle and spectators will be more than welcome.

My diabetes journey started when I was twelve after collapsing on the football pitch, I was five stone in weight and looked extremely pale, I was constantly thirsty, a thirst that was incredible, I needed to drink constantly, this meant that I was constantly going to the toilet, to the point that I was even wetting the bed at the age of twelve. 

I eventually ended up in hospital with type one diabetes. I started insulin injections of one a day and I had to test my urine on a regular basis (blood testing devices were not available in the hospital at the time). I found it increasingly difficult to get my blood sugars under control, if my blood sugars where to high I used to run around the block to get them down. I eventually received a blood testing device but even with this and more injections it was still incredibly difficult to get my
bloods at a reasonable level.

The years passed and at the age of twenty two, I unexpectedly became a father, I worked hard to get a mortgage for my family, soon after I had another child and things seemed to be going well, but as they say, some things just aren’t meant to be. I went through a horrendous break up and a fight to get contact with my
children, unfortunately my diabetes went out of the window and I started going out a lot at the weekends and drinking, this of course didn’t help matters.

I eventually slowed down and decided to take control of my life, I had my dream job of working at Northampton town football club and I started to study health and safety. Life seemed to be going well, until a stone got into my shoe at work, a large blister appeared on my small toe; this soon became infected and turned into a large diabetic foot ulcer. I was advised to give up work but with bills ect I couldn't afford to give up my job, unfortunately the ulcer would not heal and it got to a point that my toe and metatarsal cap had to be amputated, so on my fortieth birthday my toe was amputated! Whilst I was in hospital my consultant noticed a change in the shape of my feet, I was then diagnosed with a muscle wasting disease known as Charcot Marie tooth (not diabetes related) my feet had changed shape and my walking had become distorted, it was decided to fuse the ankle on my right foot, at first the operation seemed successful but six months after the surgery, I started to become very ill, I was rushed into hospital the pins in my ankle had become infected and I had developed sepsis, I had surgery to remove the pins but it was still going to be a fight to save my leg, so I endured intravenous antibiotics three times daily for a year and this did the trick, but I was left with deformed feet.

Today at the age of 52 I have felt the difficulty of diabetic complications, retinopathy neuropathy and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) to mention
a few but this body is still going and I’m here to tell the tale, that’s why I want to make my Diabetic anniversary special by raising awareness of diabetes and maybe a bit of money for Diabetes UK

About the charity

Diabetes UK

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 215199
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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