Runner Rebecca making double marathon effort

Dungannon woman Rebecca Irwin who is taking on a double marathon challenge for two charities in the next twelve months pictured with her grandmother, Muriel.
Dungannon woman Rebecca Irwin who is taking on a double marathon challenge for two charities in the next twelve months pictured with her grandmother, Muriel.

A Dungannon woman is taking on a double marathon challenge for two charities in the next twelve months.

Rebecca Irwin will set out on the first when she takes on the Belfast City Marathon on Sunday, May 5.

This will be followed by the Dublin marathon taking place on Sunday, October 27.

Explaining why she is taking on the double challenge, Rebecca said: “Alongside my running partner, Vincent Conlon, we will be running two marathons for two charities this year. HUGS and Diabetes UK Northern Ireland are very special charities to us both.

“Both my father and my grandfather have Type 1 diabetes so I know all about the ups and downs of this very serious condition.

“My grandmother, Muriel Irwin, was recently awarded a BEM award for her volunteering work for diabetes and she was one of the founding members of the Diabetes Support Group in Dungannon.

“My family remains my inspiration to take on these challenges to help others living with diabetes,” said Rebecca.

To help Rebecca raise awareness and funds for Diabetes UK, a number of events are being organised.

The first one will be a coffee morning and raffle on Saturday, March 23, at Drumsallan Church Hall from 10am – 12pm.

Everyone is welcome to go along for a cuppa and a chat to help show support to Rebecca and her chosen charities.

*Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. There are an estimated 4.7 million people living with diabetes in the United Kingdom.

If not managed well, both Type One and Type Two diabetes can lead to devastating complications.

There is currently no known cure for any type of diabetes.

People with Type One diabetes cannot produce insulin. About eight per cent of people with diabetes have Type One.

No one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable. It’s the most common type of diabetes in children and young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly. Type One diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses. It is also recommended to follow a healthy diet and take regular physical activity.

People with Type Two diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce doesn’t work properly (known as insulin resistance).

Around 90 per cent of people with diabetes have Type Two. They might get Type Two diabetes because of their family history, age and ethnic background puts them at increased risk. They are also more likely to get Type Two diabetes if they are overweight. Type Two is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity. In addition, tablets and/or insulin can be required.

Diabetes UK’s aim is creating a world where diabetes can do no harm. With the right treatment, knowledge and support people living with diabetes can lead a long, full and healthy life.

For more information about diabetes and the charity’s work, you can visit the website at www.diabetes.org.uk