Vets set to get tough

This Is Wiltshire: From left, Jess Kirby, Charlie Fisher and Sarah Whitehead From left, Jess Kirby, Charlie Fisher and Sarah Whitehead

FROM the consultation room to the assault course, nurses at Drove Vets will tread unchartered territory at the Tough Mudder next week.

Jess Kirby convinced colleagues Charlie Fisher and Sarah Whitehead to join her at the challenge in Cirencester, which she had chosen to tackle in aid of Diabetes UK.

After arduous training for some and moderate exercise for others, the team – aptly named ‘Has Sarah trained enough?’ – is preparing to overcome obstacles on August 16.

While Jess, 25, will run the Tough Mudder for Diabetes UK, nearly five years after being diagnosed with Type 1, Charlie and Sarah will raise funds for Action ME and Borneo charity International Aid for the Protection and Welfare of Animals, respectively.

“Jess bullied us into it basically,” said Sarah, 40, of Wichelstowe. “She didn’t want to do it on her own. I’ve never done anything like it before. I will blame her if it’s too hard.

“I’ve signed up to the gym and I go cycling but I’ve not done any running. We will see whether I can on the day.

“I am going to volunteer in January for a month so it was a good way to raise money for street dogs in Borneo.”

For Jess and Charlie, the fundraiser will raise awareness of conditions which changed their lives at a young age: diabetes and ME.

“I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes just before I turned 20,” said Jess, of Haydon Wick.

“I felt awful, lethargic, thirsty all the time, I had lost a lot of weight.

“I had to start injecting, calculating carbohydrates and what you eat.

“I really wanted to raise awareness and money because eventually I would like to be cured. People don’t understand the difference between Type 1 and Type 2. They think you must have eaten a lot a lot of sugar and assume you’re unhealthy but it’s not your fault.”

Charlie, 27, of Taw Hill, is determined to do away with the stigma surrounding ME and its nickname ‘yuppie flu’ by taking part. She wants to secure funds towards support for sufferers.

“I have had ME since I was 15,” she said.

“When I went to university at 18, I learned to control it and pace myself. But it never goes away.”

Labour parliamentary candidate Mark Dempsey, will join the challenge in aid of Swindon Foodbank.

He said: “It’s a big challenge. But it’s for a great cause.”

l To sponsor Sarah, Charlie and Jess, visit www.justgiving.com/ Sarahbobwhitehead, www.justgiving.com/ Charlie-Fisher2 and www.justgiving.com/ Jessica-Kirby1 To sponsor Mark, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.

com/MarkDempsey

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