A sister and brother are set to pound the streets of London for a cause close to their hearts. Catherine Scott reports.
KEEN runner Lauren Crawley will think of only one thing as she pounds the streets of London next month – her big sister Danielle.
Lauren, 33, is taking part in the London Marathon to raise vital funds for Diabetes UK after Danielle died from complications of the condition she had suffered since she was 11.
Danielle died in 2009 of Type 1 diabetes and since then Lauren has pledged to raise as much as she can for the charity which supports people with the condition.
Lauren, of Lee Moor, Stanley, is an interior architect and runs her own business.
She has already raised more than £4,225 for Diabetes UK in memory of Danielle by running the London Marathon last year, the Great Yorkshire Run and the Great North Run in 2012 and completing the Yorkshire Three Peaks in 2010 and 2011.
This year, she will be running the marathon with her brother, 27-year-old quantity surveyor Liam Crawley, of Aberford Road, Stanley, who also joined her for the Three Peaks challenges.
Danielle, who was 32 when she died, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 11.
Her health deteriorated in her 20s. She suffered multiple seizures and had complications which affected her feet and eyes.
In March 2009, she suffered another seizure and was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary’s intensive care unit. She died in August from respiratory failure.
“Danielle didn’t give up without a fight,” says Lauren. “She went on her own terms.
“That’s what gives me the motivation to try to raise money for Diabetes UK and raise awareness.
“Not everyone knows just how serious diabetes can be, which is why I like to fly the flag for it.”
Lauren and Liam hope to raise around £2,500 this year.
Lauren is planning a fundraising Pig Race Night. Liam’s team mates and friends at Stanley Rangers rugby club will also be supporting his fundraising.
He will also be organising a bakeathon for Diabetes UK at Mitie, where he works.
“It is a humbling experience to be able to honour the memory of one of the bravest people I ever met, my big sister, who never gave up without a fight,” says Lauren.
“With that said, running a marathon or two is the least I can do and if it raises awareness of diabetes along the way then it makes it all the more worthwhile.
“This year I won’t be running by myself and am super proud and honoured to have my not-so-little brother who grabs any challenge thrown at him and stamps his mark on it.
“With a target of £2,500 I have a huge task ahead.”
Linda Wood, regional manager for Diabetes UK in the Northern and Yorkshire region, said: “The London Marathon is a tough challenge and requires a huge amount of dedication, time and commitment.
“We are really grateful for Lauren and Liam’s fundraising efforts, and wish them the very best of luck.
“All the money raised will go a long way to help us make life better for the 3.8 million people in the UK with diabetes and the seven million at high risk.”
All Diabetes UK runners will get a support package before the April 13 event, which includes fundraising and training advice, a Diabetes UK running top and a pre-race Pasta Party.
After the marathon, all runners will be invited to a post-race Cool Down Party, complete with great food and massage therapists.
Diabetes UK, which cares for, connects with and campaigns for people with diabetes, will have cheer points will be at mile 12 and 24 for supporters to cheer on Lauren and Liam.
• To sponsor Lauren visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/lauren crawley and to find out more about running the London Marathon for Diabetes UK visit www.diabetes.org.uk
• Diabetes UK still has places available on the 2014 Virgin London Marathon team for runners who have their own place but have not yet chosen a charity. Contact the Events Fundraising team on 0207 424 1000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org