As I will have been qualified and practicing as a physiotherapist for 35 years this year I felt I wanted to do something to mark the occasion and to challenge me. So on New Years Eve (after a glass of champagne!) I signed up to do the Diabetes UK Swim 22 Challenge.

Between 22 February and 22 May 2020, I will be aiming to swim 22 miles – the width of the English Channel. I am hoping that as well as feeling fitter I will be able to raise some money to help people living with diabetes.

Diabetes affects 1 in 16 people in the UK (4.8 million people) and someone is diagnosed every 2 minutes. If nothing changes it is predicted that more than 5 million people will have diabetes by 2025. The cost to the NHS is huge – £10 billion which is 10% of the total NHS budget. One in six people in a hospital bed have a diabetes related illness.

Around 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Around 8% of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. About 2% of people with diabetes have rarer types of diabetes.

diabetes swim jill drew

What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 1 develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body have been destroyed and the body is unable to produce any insulin. Everyone with Type 1 needs to treat their diabetes by injecting insulin or using an insulin pump.
Type 2 develops when the body still makes some insulin but it’s not able to work properly or there isn’t enough. Some people can manage it with a healthy diet, regular physical activity and, if they need to, by losing weight. But the longer someone has Type 2, the more likely it is that they will need medication. About a quarter of people with Type 2 will eventually need to take insulin.


What does the Diabetes UK Charity do?

“We’re fighting for a world where diabetes can do no harm. And as the UK’s leading diabetes charity, it’s our job to tackle the challenges individuals and the country face because of it. We provide information, advice and support to people with all types of diabetes so they can learn to live well with their condition. And we bring people together so they can learn from each other and get to grips with diabetes. Our campaigns make sure diabetes is at the top of the political agenda and we fight to make sure everyone gets the care they need. Our research builds our knowledge of diabetes, develops improved treatments and will, one day, find a cure.”


How you can help Jill Drew?

Would you consider sponsoring me in my endeavour to swim 22 miles?
Thank you so much and you can donate and follow my progress on my fundraising page. My fundraising page is here.