Sister of woman who died of type 1 diabetes walking 3,000 miles with friends to raise awareness of the disease

Posted on - 26th March, 2021 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Health, People, Preston News
Marie Holgate would’ve celebrated her 32nd birthday in April 2021

Jenna Smith and 12 friends have raised over £1,300 as they walk the distance to Benidorm and back throughout March to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes.


Jenna lost her sister, Marie, to the condition in October 2018 and they’re taking on the challenge to celebrate what would have been Marie’s 32nd birthday in April.

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Jenna said: “Marie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was just 15 years-old and it was incredibly difficult for her to cope with.

“I know that a lot of people find it hard to manage their diabetes, so I hope that through raising awareness and supporting Diabetes UK we can help other people who may be struggling too.

“The past few years have been really tough but I have the most amazing group of friends and this year we wanted to do something to celebrate Marie.

“As a group we’ve had lots of holidays together in Benidorm and some great memories of Marie there with us too, so it seemed like the perfect challenge.

“She would have loved that we’re doing this and the fact that it will help other people with diabetes too.”

Jenna with her sister Marie

Marie, 29, passed away as a result of diabetic ketoacidosis, a complication of type 1 diabetes caused by a severe lack of insulin in the body.

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The team, who have been completing the distance in pairs due to the current lockdown, have already covered 930 miles between them and are on track to reach their 3000-mile target at the end of the month.

Clare Howarth, Head of the North of England at Diabetes UK said: “We want to thank Jenna and all the team for their amazing effort.

“What a wonderful way to remember Marie and raise awareness of the impact of diabetes.”

To sponsor Jenna and the team, click here.

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