Two diabetes nurses from Redhill and Reigate have been inspired to take part in this month’s Great South Run by their patients.
Sarah Reynolds from Redhill, a clinical nurse specialist, and Susan Stockley from Reigate, lead diabetes specialist nurse, who both work for Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, were inspired to take part in the ten-mile run by two of their running enthusiast patients, Sarah Haywood and Neil Ruff.
Both will be joining them in the run in Portsmouth on Sunday, October 30.
Sarah Haywood from Oxted, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 16 years ago, and despite her condition keeps fit by running, walking, cycling, horse riding and taking part in regular spin classes.
And Neil, from Dorking, who has had diabetes for 23 years, is no stranger to running, having completed two marathons in the past.
He started taking his running seriously three years ago and is looking forward to running as part of a team to raise money for diabetes research.
Sarah Haywood said: “Having diabetes isn’t an excuse to wrap yourself in cotton wool. You can do anything so long as you plan ahead and are aware of your body.”
She said: “I don’t think diabetes should be a barrier to doing what you want in life.
“While you still need to respect your condition, you should try to fit diabetes around your lifestyle, rather than fit your lifestyle around diabetes. If you really want to do something, go for it. ”
Raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), a charity dedicated to finding the cure for type 1 diabetes, the four runners have squeezed training runs into their busy schedules.
Sarah Reynolds said: “I stopped running four years ago when I suffered a knee injury.
“When I heard that Sarah and Neil were planning to take part in the run I was inspired to give it another go.
“Working as a diabetes specialist, I see first-hand the daily difficulties and challenges faced by people living with diabetes. “Frequent blood glucose monitoring, calculating carbohydrates in meals, injecting four times daily, trying to prevent both high and low levels - with the very real threat of complications if they get it wrong isn't easy. It's incredibly challenging.
“So, when Sarah, one of my amazingly inspiring patients, asked me to run ten miles with her to raise money for JDRF, I said yes immediately.
“The training has been tough, but knowing it’s all for such a worthwhile cause has kept me going.”
Susan said: “Type 1 diabetes is a chronic, life-threatening condition.
“Working as a diabetes nurse, I see the impact, sometimes devastating, that this condition has on those diagnosed, and their families.
“This is why I am running, gasping and crawling the ten miles to raise funds for JDRF.”
The runners have already won sponsorship from Accu-Chek, provider of diabetes care products, which has donated £200 to JDRF.
People can sponsor Sarah Reynolds and Susan online at: www.justgiving.com/SarahFSReynolds or www.justgiving.com/Susan-Stockley