A HOSPITAL worker is hoping to walk 1.7 million steps to raise awareness of a common condition that has caused nerve damage to his mother and best friend.

Jordan Clark, a health care support worker, has first-hand experience of diabetes as he helped his mum Sharon around the house while she tried to manage her type two condition, in which the body does not receive enough insulin.

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high.

“As I’m getting towards the age that my mum was diagnosed it is making me think that I need to concentrate on being healthy now,” said Mr Clark, 28.

“I have seen the impact diabetes has had on people closest to me and I don’t want to live with it myself.”

Rhyl Journal:

Mr Clark's best friend was aged four years old when they were diagnosed with type one diabetes, in which the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells, and can cause nerve damage, swelling and difficulty to walk.

He said his mum, 50, has suffered with feeling sluggish, tiredness and suffers nerve damage to her legs and feet since being diagnosed aged 35.

Both his mum and friend have to use insulin daily to manage the condition.

“It can be difficult for mum to walk and some days better than others; some are really bad for her and she wouldn’t be able to walk as far as she normally could.

“Whenever she is needing help with day-to-day things like I shopping I would be there but she tries to remain very independent.”

Mr Clark, who worked with elderly patients on the medical acute ward at Glan Clwyd Hospital, moved to Liverpool in January and now works at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

He says he is aware of being “overambitious” in attempting to raise £1.7million – or £1 for every step – in aid of Diabetes UK so that other people do not have to suffer from the condition.

Mr Clark plans to walk the step count, which equates to about 500 miles, to and from work and around the city’s green parks each morning and evening between July 1 and September 30. He will also visit his hometown and trek the more scenic routes that North Wales has to offer.

“I have always been quite big, I was never the skinny guy, and growing up I never really thought about it but now I’m getting to an age where I need to act more responsibly,” he said.

“You never think [being diagnosed with diabetes] is ever going to happen to you, but it can happen to anybody at any stage in your life.

“My friend was diagnosed at just four years old, she had only lived four years of her life, whereas my mum was on diagnosed later in life.

“Diabetes is becoming a lot more known and talked about which is important because everybody needs to be aware.”

Donate to Mr Clark’s fundraiser by visiting his Diabetes UK page.