AN East Lothian mum wants to inspire fellow diabetes sufferers by running the London Marathon to mark 20 years since her diagnosis.
Margot Forrest, 42, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1997 and plans to ‘celebrate’ the anniversary by completing the 26.2-mile course on Sunday in support of Diabetes UK.
Mrs Forrest, from Longniddry, said she wanted to inspire other sufferers of the condition to “aim high” and show that her diabetes doesn’t hold her back.
“I like running because it makes me feel good,” she said. “Even if I don’t want to go out for a run, I always feel better afterwards.
“I thought my first marathon was an amazing experience and I wanted to try again with more fitness.”
Mrs Forrest, a legal counsel at Aberdeen Asset Management in the Capital, began training for the event last year.
However, after experiencing several diabetic hypos – low blood sugar levels – she was advised to invest in a specialist sensor to help monitor her blood glucose, allowing her to run.
Mum-of-three Margot said that without the sensor, she wouldn’t be able to take on the marathon challenge.
“It means I can quickly check my blood glucose without even stopping, and take action,” she said. “Now I can go out for long runs without stopping, whereas before I had to stop and check blood glucose a couple of times which interrupts the flow of running.
“If I didn’t have it I would have to stop at least every hour to check my blood glucose.”
Margot’s decision to run comes after a new study found more than 40 per cent of Scottish adults didn’t know the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, with less than 2 per cent believing the condition was “normal”.
The figures, from pharmaceutical company Abbott, also found that Scottish people tended to conform to stereotypes surrounding diabetes, with around 18 per cent assuming that those living with the condition were overweight and 13 per cent believing diabetes was a sign of an unhealthy lifestyle.
More than one in six Scottish adults polled assumed that someone with diabetes would not be able to complete a difficult physical challenge such as a marathon and a further 23 per cent did not know how diabetes would affect someone’s ability to compete physically.
According to Diabetes UK, more than 3.5 million people in the UK suffer from the condition, with almost 300,000 diabetics living in Scotland alone.
It’s estimated as many as 25 per cent of those are aged between 60 and 70, with £192million spent every week by the NHS on sufferers.
The 36th London Marathon takes place on Sunday, with almost 400,000 elite and amateur athletes expected to take part.