What Dexcom taught me

My MdS: As told by my glucose levels

Not long ago I ran 140 miles over six days in the Sahara Desert with a Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor and an Omnipod insulin pump taped to my belly, while wearing SHORT shorts that looked more like a netball skirt. I don’t like to talk about it all that much, but you can read about it here, here and…

Are we really ripping off the NHS?

Why I’m not sorry for sending insulin to a stranger in the US (again)

A while back I was accused of ripping off the NHS. I also got it in the neck for involving my youngest daughter in the ‘technically illegal’ act of sending insulin my doctor had advised me to stop taking to a stranger who needed it in the US. There were other criticisms: because the US ‘foams at the mouth’ at…

Do what you can’t: Running the Marathon des Sables with type 1 diabetes

The days before the Marathon des Sables [MdS] 2019 were a bit like a Craig David song for me. But with no chilling. I developed chest pains on Monday, stuck a thermometer twice up my arse on Tuesday, had a fever on Wednesday and flew to Morocco with dodgy guts on Thursday. On Sunday, I began the run of my…

great life juice scandal

The great life juice scandal: Why I paid to ship insulin across the world to a stranger

The illicit trade in insulin and other diabetic supplies is roaring online. On Facebook, US diabetics are trading in groups because they can’t afford the drugs they need to live. US insulin prices nearly doubled between 2012 and 2016. Trading prescription drugs online is illegal, so members talk in code to avoid the groups getting shut down. ‘Life juice’ is…

injured before MdS

No ifs no butts: How to cope if injured before the MdS

No, I’ve not had butt implants. And I’m not pleased to see you. That’s a bag of ice down my pants. I’d been building up to the Marathon des Sables (a 150-mile footrace in the Sahara Desert) for three years injury free before I came unstuck. Then, with only 70 days to go, my left glute went as tight as…

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes stuff they didnt tell you

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes: Stuff they didn’t tell you

A bombshell has landed in your lap: you’ve been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It’s a lot to take in. The doctors say you need to inject insulin every day to stay alive from now on in. You need to prick your fingers regularly to keep tabs on how much glucose is in your blood. You need to carry something sugary…

Insulin pumps and exercise: Can Omnipod cope with Crossfit?

It’s three years since I first applied to be considered for insulin pump therapy on the NHS. In the next few months I should finally get one. I’ve chosen the Insulet Omnipod. It’s the only cannula-free pump available here in the UK, meaning there’s no risk of snagging the tube that attaches the pump to the insulin source and pulling it out; it’s relatively small, sticks directly to your skin and is controlled by a separate NFC handset. But will it stay put with all the exercise I do? I put it to the test at my local Crossfit box…

Britain's most brutal footrace? 3

The Marathon des Cote: Britain’s most brutal footrace?

I was completely and utterly out of my depth. My blood sugar level was 23mmol (it should be about five). The hills were taller, steeper and more frequent than I was expecting. I was three hours and 10 miles into a footrace that would take at least another three days and 176 miles to complete. If I could just keep…

Why I’m running 186 miles for T1International

Without insulin, you die. Yet it’s estimated that half of the world’s type one diabetics live without adequate access to the hormone most of us take for granted [T1International]. Even in countries where insulin is available, many cannot afford to pay for it. In the US, where the price of insulin has more than tripled in a decade, people are dying because they cannot afford medication that’s free here in the UK on the NHS. Charity T1International is campaigning to change this.

In the below film you’ll meet Ruth, a 16 year old living with type one diabetes in Ghana who’s been put through school by T1International. She’s determined not to let the condition, which is an effective death sentence for most Africans diagnosed with diabetes, from stopping her realise her dream of becoming a nurse.  There’s Cate, from Kenya, where T1International is uniting diabetics to negotiate lower prices on the drugs they need and Karyn in the US, who has seen fellow diabetics die as a result of exorbitant insulin prices.

This is why I’m running 186 miles for T1International

Please donate

On 14 June 2018 I am starting the three day, 186 mile Marathon des Cote, a foot race that covers the entire Pembrokeshire Coast Path. No one is known to have ever completed the route in less than four days. I hope I’ve made my motives clear: that people are dying because they cannot access or afford a drug that has been in existence for more than a century is a scandal. Please donate whatever you can to help T1International end this. You can donate by visiting my Just Giving page, here.