Diabetic mum prepares for marathon challenge

Photo of Shannon and Daniel Jones, with their daughter Bronwen.

A young Stoke Gifford mum is aiming to raise funds for a national diabetes charity by running the London Marathon just 12 months after giving birth to her first child.

Eight weeks into her pregnancy, Shannon Jones was found to have a high glucose reading and the condition was initially treated as gestational diabetes.

However, following three to four weeks of further investigations, doctors confirmed that she in fact has Type 1 diabetes, the rarer of two forms of lifelong diabetes.

Shannon’s husband Daniel, who will also run the marathon, alongside his wife, explained:

“Following the diagnosis, Shannon quickly became insulin dependent. The NHS were great and gave us a lot of support and reassurance. The diagnosis was a massive shock, but she has dealt with it tremendously, despite the obvious life-changing adjustments.”

Just six weeks after the arrival of their daughter, Bronwen, in April 2017, the couple decided they would like to run the 2018 London Marathon and raise funds for Diabetes UK. Shannon began her training just four months after giving birth and says she “must be mad” to do it whilst looking after and feeding a baby, not to mention managing her ongoing diabetes.

Daniel continued:

“Diabetes not only affects the person diagnosed but also their family. Nothing can really be done on a whim, we always have to make sure we have insulin, glucose testing and food/drink to boost sugar levels.”

Daniel helps to recognise if Shannon has low blood sugar levels (which can result from exercising more than usual) and says that as he has been with her throughout her journey, “it’s only right that we share the journey to and through the marathon”.

During the race, Shannon will monitor her blood sugar levels by using a hand-held device to scan a sensor in her arm, and the couple will carry supplies of energy drinks and jelly babies for Shannon to use should the levels drop too low.

Daniel added:

“As those who have done a marathon will know, it is a really tough challenge and the diabetes will certainly make it that much tougher, but we are determined to do this!”

Shannon said:

“It has been a major shock trying to adapt to life with a newborn as well as multiple daily injections to manage my diabetes. It’s been challenging but I have really enjoyed the training and cannot wait for the big event now.”

The couple say the 2018 London Marathon will be “just the first step in years and years of fundraising for Diabetes UK” and they are asking local residents to show their support by donating securely through their JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/shannon-daniel-jones

Photo: Shannon and Daniel Jones, with their one-year-old daughter Bronwen.

This article originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 13). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,200 homes in Bradley Stoke and Little Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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