Whitehaven News column – 3rd April 2014

Would you pay to see an MP suffer?
I’m guessing that plenty of you would, that’s why I’m running the London Marathon in less than a fortnight. Unsurprisingly, the Kenyan Ambassador has been in contact with my office urging me to go at a moderate pace so as not to embarrass the Kenyan athletes. Keen to avoid an international incident, I have agreed to this request. Those of you who were about to bet on me finishing the marathon in two hours or less should not now do so – keep your money and sponsor me instead.
So why am I putting myself through this? Yes, for your enjoyment, but there’s another reason too.
Two weeks before the 2010 General Election, aged 36, I didn’t know that I was an undiagnosed type 1 diabetic entering diabetic ketoacidosis and on my way to a coma.
Type 1 diabetes affects about 400,000 people in the UK, including 29,000 children. That’s over 600 people in every parliamentary constituency.
The NHS saved my life, but three years on I know that type 1 diabetes needs to be better understood, that people with the condition require a much better service than the one we currently receive, and that we need to find a cure.
Together, we can help to improve the lives of people living with type 1 diabetes.
As a Shadow Health Minister, I want to do something about this, so I’m trying to raise awareness of the condition shared by me and 400,000 other Britons and I’m trying to raise money to help fund the research that will help to find the cure. 
That’s why I’m running the 2014 London Marathon for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I never intended to upset the Kenyan Embassy.
So, if you’re feeling up to it, you can visit my fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/Jamie-Reed2and sponsor my misery.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
Still not convinced? What if I told you that training in wind and sleet has taken its inevitable toll? To help seal the deal, I’m running with an injury. So if you want to make a Member of Parliament suffer, donating to JDRF really will be worth your while.
Prime Minister’s Questions

By the time you read this, I will have been called to ask a question at PMQs. My first in a while, despite entering the question ballot every week. I’ll be asking the Prime Minister to help us retain key services at the WCH, end the staffing crisis and to support what we are trying to achieve. It’s the least we deserve and, as his government has caused so many of the problems we face, the least he could do. Watch this space.
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