Heidi Sweeney

Heidi's 30th Birthday Fundraiser for Diabetes UK

Fundraising for Diabetes UK
raised of £500 target
by 55 supporters
3 Peaks, 24 Hours, 1 Diabetic
Diabetes UK

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 215199
We are fighting to make a world where diabetes does no harm


As most of you will be aware, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in late 2018 whilst travelling in New Zealand. Up until then I had had no major health problems and yet suddenly I found myself in an intensive care bed, wired up to machines and was told I had an incurable illness and was in severe DKA.

It was a shock to the system to say the least!

As dramatic and surreal as that time was, the years that followed were far harder. Nothing can prepare you for the impact a diagnosis like this has on your life. Suddenly all the little things you used to do so easily from grabbing a snack, to walking to the shop, to going to bed, all take so much effort and planning - everything you do, you do with diabetes.

Something that's made a huge difference to me is getting a Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitor in 2021 on the NHS. This has had a far bigger impact than just being able to see my glucose/trends etc. in real time. The high and low alarms that come with it and the Follow app which allows me to share my glucose and alarms with my family both give me so much peace of mind. Before the Dexcom I hadn't slept through the night in months because I was always afraid of what would happen if I didn't wake up to a hypo. Now I go to bed without setting multiple alarms to wake up and check my blood sugar through the night. Now I go to sleep without fear.

6 months after getting the Dexcom I was fortunate enough to get an insulin pump, also on the NHS. This allows me so much more flexibility and freedom in how I eat and how I move through each day. It has enabled me to be much more active than I was before, including by climbing mountains again - something which I personally hadn't been able to do whilst on multiple daily injections.

Having access to these technologies has given me my life back and changed my relationship with my condition. I used to feel like a disease with a person attached, but now I feel like me again, which I never would have thought possible.

This is why fundraising is so vital, because every advancement: from the discovery of insulin in 1921, which transformed Type 1 Diabetes from a terminal illness into a chronic illness, through to the development of the artificial pancreas today is made possible by the research and hard work of countless people.

This is where Diabetes UK comes in. Since their inception in 1934 they have brought about tangible improvements to the lives of those of us living with Diabetes. These include: campaigning for the creation of the National Health Service - making insulin accessible to everyone in the UK who needs it regardless of cost, funding the worlds first insulin pen in the 1970s and funding the first home glucose meter in the 1980s.

More recently they have developed education courses which empower people living with diabetes to manage their condition effectively, whilst improving quality of life in the process. And in the last few years, they have successfully campaigned to change NICE guidelines to recommend that all Type 1 Diabetics now have access to flash or continuous glucose monitoring on the NHS.

When it comes down to it, all of this life changing and life saving work is only possible because of donations from the public. Which is why to celebrate my 30th birthday I wanted to do something to raise money for Diabetes UK and help make a real difference to people's lives.

So, on 7th May I will be doing the national 3 peaks challenge. For anyone that doesn't know, the 3 peaks challenge is where you climb the highest mountains in Scotland (Ben Nevis), England (Sca Fell Pike) and Wales (Snowdon) in 24 hours including travel time. It'll be around 23 miles in total with over 10,000 feet vertical ascent - so its not something to be taken lightly. While I'm sure I have the fitness for it, managing my blood sugar through the changing activity levels (i.e. up hill, down hill, sat still in a car, repeat...) will be a whole different ball game. But like all things with Type 1 Diabetes - I will find a way to make it work!

So if you would like to, please give what you can in support. Thank you.

Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.

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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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+ £161.25 Gift Aid
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