My name is Kat. I’ve been married to Rick for almost 9 years and we have two wonderful boys, James (5) Owen (3). I work as a Receptionist in Manchester and generally live a happy life.
Last year I was looking at pictures on Facebook from the Bupa Manchester Run and those sweaty, red, pained faces running around in the heat wave. Then I saw pictures of those same people holding up their Finishers Medals. Still sweaty and still red faced but instead of pain they were smiling. They had achieved something and felt good.
Some were obviously fit and looked very much the part. Some were individuals or part of a small group and had a variety of body type, age and fitness level. But they all had one thing in common…Charity T-shirts. And that’s when this crazy idea popped into my head so after a few days of not being able to get it out I spoke to Rick.
“I’m thinking of running the 10K next May”. I waited for his response and it didn’t take long “hahahahahaha…You? Running?”
Now this may sound incredibly unsupportive of him but in actual fact it is a perfectly reasonable reaction. You see I hate running. HATE it. I did A-Level PE yet avoided running as much as possible. I would rather stand in the rain in sandals than run for a bus. HATE it!!
I went on to tell him I know it sounds ridiculous but I want to raise some money for Diabetes UK. At that point, the mood changed and I had his full support, all joking was gone.
In January 2009 we had our first son. Born at 29 weeks weighing 2lbs 1oz, James was a born fighter. After 10 weeks in SCBU at 3 different hospitals he came home and life as parents began. He developed well and soon caught up with children his age and at 18 months he was finally discharged from paediatric care.
A few weeks later he got an ear infection which seemed to get worse and worse. He slept a lot, barely ate, lost weight drank a lot and pee’d for England, yet after several trips to the GP we were reassured he was fine, just wiped out.
My mum remembered an article in our local paper about a boy that had died in his sleep because the doctors had missed a diagnosis of Diabetes, his symptoms rang a bell with mum so it was decided to get him checked out at hospital.
On 4th August 2010, James was rushed through A&E into a room where several doctors and nurses worked on him. His veins had collapsed so it took 20 minutes to get a drip into him. His blood glucose level was at 32 – a healthy person’s shouldn’t be above 7 and a diagnosis of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA is a complication of Type 1 Diabetes) was given. Emergency transport to Manchester Children’s Hospital was arranged and he spent 4 days in HDU followed by a further 6 days on a ward. We were told that had we waited another hour the outcome could have been very different and if he hadn’t been brought in at all, he most certainly would have died.
As a Type 1 Diabetic James has several injections of insulin a day. He regularly checks his blood glucose levels by pricking his finger and although the “rules” on Diabetes have changed over the years, he still needs to watch what he eats and when. He is absolutely amazing. Every now and then he tells us he wishes he wasn’t Diabetic but on the whole, he just gets on with it. It’s a real balancing act keeping his blood glucose (BG) in range (4.6-10). Low BG is called Hypo and is a medical emergency in itself. Left untreated he is at risk of fits, unconsiousness and even death. He can have these episodes daily and through the night. High BG levels are called Hypers. They pose limited immeadiate risk but over time can cause damage to kidneys, eyes, circulation and in a matter of days Ketones can build up in the blood resulting in the DKA James was diagnosed with.
I decided to raise £500 in honour of James and in support of Diabetes UK. As a charity, they support families dealing with Type 1. They carry out research to improve lives and campaign to raise awareness. They also offer information and support to those affected by Type 2 (often attributed to lifestyle) which is why I chose them over other charities which focus on just T1. I am aiming to run the entire 10K or as I call it 6.2 miles (it sounds shorter!) as I believe a walk/jog just doesn’t measure up against what James has gone through for over half of his life and will continue to for a very long time. The money has been rolling in and at the time of writing this, the total stands at £433 so I’m almost there…just the small matter of May the 18th to tackle now!
For more information about how Mojomums may be able to help you raise awareness for your chosen charity click here.