Wigan marathon mum runs to fund research into son's diabetes
A mum from Wigan will run her 18th and last marathon to fund-raise for a type one diabetes research charity to help her son who has the condition.
Slimming World consultant Carol Littler, 53 and from Billinge, will be taking part in her 10th London Marathon on Sunday October 2.
She lives with her chef de partie son, Tom, 22, who has T1 diabetes and was diagnosed when he was two.
As there is no cure, Carol decided to make it her mission to run marathons and fund-raise for research into the autoimmune disease, which is a lifelong condition that affects insulin production which is used to create energy from sugar entering the body.
Carol dontates the donations she receives to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
She said: “I’m 53, not your ‘stereotypical runner’, but I’ll be out there on Sunday on that start line in London to complete my 10th consecutive London Marathon for JDRF. It will be my 18th marathon in total.
"Tom doesn't let his T1 Diabetes stop him doing anything – He drives, he goes to festivals, on lads’ holidays and nights out.
"He's just really careful and keeps an eye on his blood sugars. His mates are amazing: they have known each other since primary school and always have his back.
“He doesn't have an insulin pump, he's on several daily injections – which he prefers.
“There’s nothing I can do to make him better no matter how hard I try, so I vowed I would do whatever I could for a charity that may one day possibly find that cure for T1 Diabetes. That’s how I found JDRF.
"I connected with JDRF back in 2012 after Tom had football trials in Wembley for the Juvenile Diabetes Cup, when he was 12.
"Out of 700, he made the final 11 and played as a striker for the UK team at Lausanne Olympic Stadium, in Switzerland.
"After that, I asked if there was anything I could do to fund-raise for them and they offered me my first London Marathon place.
"But I had weight to lose and didn’t own any trainers at that point. And I was 41.
"They said that it didn't matter as I had 12 months to get ready – so I did. That sort of led me to running.
"I always remember a quote from Richard Branson that says: 'if you're offered an amazing opportunity, grab it with both hands and learn how to do it later' – that was me.
“JDRF have given me so many opportunities over the years – I’ve been lucky enough to run the New York Marathon for them twice, and the Berlin Marathon too. I’ve raised over £25,000 so far.
"When I finish this one, I’ll bow out gracefully as I’ve done my bit, had my time as a marathoner and enjoyed every minute.“I will still involve myself with the charity forever as I'm hoping that one day they will have that cure.“I’d love a bit of moral support for Sunday and would love it if the people of Wigan could get behind me.”
Readers can donate to Carol’s cause here: https://tcslondonmarathon.enthuse.com/pf/carol-littler-55eeb