A MEDICAL writer from Glasgow is swimming the equivalent of the English Channel to raise vital funds for Diabetes UK.

Maggie Formella (24) was motivated to take part in Swim22 Challenge after seeing the daily impact of Type 1 diabetes on her partner, Martyn Leigh (23).

Maggie said: “Diabetes is a condition very close to my heart. My partner Martyn was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes almost four years ago.

"Being with him from the day of his diagnosis, through learning how to adjust to life with the condition, hospital stays, life threatening complications and, then finally, a few months ago, getting an insulin pump – has shown me just how important it is to find better treatments for diabetes and, hopefully one day, a cure."

Type 1 diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition where blood glucose level in the body is too high because it can't make a hormone called insulin.

No one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable.

Maggie, who recently graduated with a Masters degree in Stratified Medicine and Pharmacological Innovation at the University of Glasgow, is also at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

She added: "Three of my grandparents have had Type 2 diabetes. With such a strong family history, I want to reduce my risk of developing the condition.

“I'm just 24 but my grandfather was only 42 when he was diagnosed with Type 2 so I want to lead a healthier lifestyle. Swimming is a great way to kick-start this lifestyle change and improve my fitness."

People with Type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce doesn’t work properly (known as insulin resistance). They might get Type 2 diabetes because of their family history, age and ethnic background puts them at increased risk. They are also more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if they are overweight.

Fiona Menzies, Fundraising Manager for Diabetes Scotland, said: "Across Scotland, over 290,000 people are living with diabetes. When diabetes is not well managed it can lead to serious complications including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and amputations.

"Every length participants complete and every pound we raise brings us closer to our vision of a world where diabetes can do no harm. It’s a great way to get fit while helping a good cause."

Diabetes UK is looking for people from all over Scotland to take part in Swim22.

Between 22 February and 22 May 2018, participants are asked to swim 22 miles – the equivalent length of swimming the English Channel. People taking on the challenge can swim in their local pool alone or with family, friends or colleagues.

To register, visit www.diabetes.org.uk/swim22.