MORE than 10 years after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, Jacqueline Pasmore has set herself a double challenge.

For the second year in a row the 55-year-old, from Risca, is seeking to swim the equivalent of the English Channel to raise vital funds for the charity Diabetes UK Cymru.

And she also hopes to have improved her health sufficiently by next Christmas to be able to do without medication.

Mrs Passmore is taking on the Diabetes UK swimming challenge Swim22, between February 22 and May 22.

She said was shocked to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2008.

“Nobody in my family has diabetes and I hadn’t noticed any symptoms, so the news was a shock. I was put on medication straight away," she said.

“I knew I needed to do something to get fit and healthy. I have arthritis in my hips, back and knees so am limited in what exercise I can do, but I have always enjoyed swimming.

"When I saw Swim 22 I knew it was the challenge for me.”

People with Type 2 diabetes do not produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce does not work properly. This is known as insulin resistance. People might get Type 2 diabetes because 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.

"At first, I could only swim 10 lengths at a time, but by the end of the challenge I was able to swim 60 lengths in an hour," said Mrs Passmore.

"I also lost more than two stone thanks to swimming, cooking from scratch, and eating more healthily, and my blood sugars are now at a normal level.

“I want to do Swim 22 again this year to fundraise for this excellent cause and improve my fitness even more. My goal is to be medication-free by Christmas.”

If not managed well, diabetes can lead to devastating complications, including sight loss, amputation, kidney failure and stroke. There are around 191,000 people living with diabetes in Wales and 90 per cent of these have Type 2 diabetes.

“It’s fantastic to hear what a positive difference Jacqueline made to her health by taking part in Swim 22 last year and that she has an even bigger goal in mind for this year’s challenge," said Joseph Cuff, fundraising manager with Diabetes UK Cymru.

Mrs Passmore has a fundraising page at

To sign up for Swim22, visit There is no registration fee and no minimum sponsorship.