Helen Rowland, CEO of Focus-Trust, a multi-academy trust with schools based in Greater Manchester, Cheshire and West Yorkshire, has successfully completed the Manchester Marathon and, in doing so, has raised over £2800 for Diabetes UK.
Helen completed the 26.2 mile course in the respectable time of 5:25:39 and, as her very first marathon, was delighted to have successfully made it round the course.
Commenting on her achievement, Helen said: “I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported me and contributed to my fundraising efforts; it was really uplifting to have had so many family and friends cheering me on around the route.
“I’m also extremely grateful to my brother who cycled alongside me from 15.5 to 26.2 miles and played all of my favourite songs to boost my morale!”
Helen chose to direct her fundraising efforts towards Diabetes UK as, in August 2014, her youngest son, Thomas, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
Diabetes UK fund research into systems to make life with Type 1 diabetes as straightforward as possible and, as a result, Thomas, now age 13, benefits from a continuous blood glucose scanner and an insulin pump.
Helen described how the support both Thomas and her family continue to receive from Diabetes UK has been “a huge support in ensuring that he is able to live life as healthily and as actively as possible.”
She added: “Whilst training for this marathon, I had a lot of time to think and reflect on life and I’m extremely grateful to Diabetes UK for supporting Thomas, and all other people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
“Knowing that all funds raised will help Diabetes UK support even more people and their families gave me the determination to complete this mammoth challenge!”
Maria Whittaker, Diabetes UK Regional Fundraiser added: “Our much-needed work wouldn’t be possible without the determination and generosity of our incredible fundraisers.
“We are extremely grateful to Helen for her hard work – running a marathon is no mean feat! Her huge fundraising effort, achieved with the fantastic support of her local community, will help fund ground-breaking research, care services and campaigns that can change the lives of those living with diabetes.”