St Albans dad inspired by diabetic daughter to run London Marathon for charity

St Albans' Jason Wills with his daughter Maddie. He is running the London Marathon for JDRF. Picture

St Albans' Jason Wills with his daughter Maddie. He is running the London Marathon for JDRF. Picture: Stephanie Belton - Credit: Archant

A St Albans dad has been inspired by his diabetic daughter to tackle this year’s London Marathon.

Jason Wills decided to run the 26.2 miles for charity JDRF, which funds research into Type One diabetes and hopes to eradicate the condition.

It is a cause close to Jason’s heart because his daughter, Maddie, was diagnosed five years ago.

The condition, which means Maddie cannot produce the hormone insulin to regulate her body’s blood sugar levels, has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle.

She has to wear two invasive devices – a Dexcom CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) and an Insulet Omnipod insulin pump - as well as carry a PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager).

This is to avoid a hypoglycaemia, a serious condition which can cause patients to become unconscious, have a fit, or go into a coma.

Her blood glucose levels must be monitored 24/7, including during the night, and if she doesn’t stay in the correct range, there may be long-term consequences for her eyesight and kidneys and could lead to amputation.

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He said: “Broadly this is taking me out of my comfort zone, and my daughter is out of her comfort zone on an hourly basis so I am really challenging myself because she has to challenge herself every day.

“I am feeling quietly confident. You know what, I am going to feel really emotional doing it because last year my friend’s daughter ran it for JDRF and that was very emotional.”

Ever since the diagnosis, Jason has been challenging himself to support JDRF - in May last year he cycled 300km from London to Paris and in June he tackled the St Albans Half Marathon for the charity.

Jason’s training was set back when he sprained his calf in January, but with the help of a sports physiotherapist he is back on track and set to finish the race in five hours.

He added: “Sometimes I will be out running and a song will come on which reminds me why I am doing it - for my daughter.”

The Virgin Money London Marathon will take place on April 28.

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