A 23-year-old student from Harpenden is running the Bupa Great North Run for Diabetes UK, in tribute to her aunt who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was a child.

Ashleigh Robinson is tackling her first half marathon in Newcastle next month to support people living with the condition, which she has learned more about as part of her dietetic studies at the University of Hertfordshire.

She said: "My aunt has Type 1 diabetes and was diagnosed when she was about 11. She would take my brother and me for days out and I always remember her having to use her insulin injection a lot, but never knew exactly why. 

"Thanks to my studies I have learnt more about diabetes and how important it is for a person to control because of the potentially serious complications.

"It has also reminded me of my aunt and actually made me realise how Type 1 diabetes can affect someone’s life. My aunt has always just got on with her diabetes and accepted it as a part of her life. I don’t think I have ever heard her complain about her condition."

No one knows what causes Type 1 diabetes, but it’s currently preventable. It is usually diagnosed in children and young adults but it can develop at any age. 

Diabetes UK Eastern regional fundraiser Teresa Strange said: "If managed correctly people with diabetes can live healthy, happy lives and Ashleigh’s aunt obviously does that and has proved to be a wonderful inspiration to her niece. 

"The money Ashleigh raises will go a long way in helping us to continue to support people diagnosed with diabetes in Hertfordshire and help them avoid some of the serious complications of the condition.

"Diabetes UK is delighted to yet again be the Bupa charity partner for the Bupa Great Run Series in 2014. Together we are working towards a future without diabetes."

To sponsor Ashleigh visit www.justgiving.com/Ashleigh-Robinson