The twin sons of a well-loved Uttoxeter woman who died suddenly in her sleep have completed a gruelling 582-mile journey as they strive to ensure others do not suffer the same fate as their mum.

Jodie Rowlinson died from ketoacidosis, a complication of diabetes, at her Mellor Drive home in December, aged just 46.

Before she died, the mum-of-three had fought and won a brave 10-year battle against breast cancer after being diagnosed in her early 30s.

Jodie, the wife of 47-year-old JCB worker Lee, developed diabetes as a complication of her treatment. Since her death, her twin boys, Jamie and Adam, have channelled their grief into a campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of the disease.

Jodie and Lee Rowlinson
Jodie and Lee Rowlinson

On August 3, the 27-year-olds finished an epic cycle ride between Land's End and John O'Groats. They wore Diabetes UK jerseys throughout.

Their efforts have so far raised more than £2,600 for the charity, as well as Dove Valley First Responders, which fought hard to save Jodie's life. But Jamie said making people aware of how dangerous diabetes can be was equally important as collecting the cash.

Jamie (left) and Adam Rowlinson on their journey
Jamie (left) and Adam Rowlinson on their journey

He said: "Mum was so strong-willed and had a massive impact on the lives of so many people. She was so encouraging, caring and loving, especially for myself, Jake and our younger brother, Liam.

"We never doubted how proud she was of us. It was so tough watching her go through her treatment for cancer and she fought against it so hard, having to have part of her breast removed and undergoing chemo' and radiotherapy. She had an amazing sense of humour and I think that was a big reason for her coming through it, still smiling.

"It just seems incredibly unfair that she still died after everything she had to go through. We just want to make people aware of the risks of diabetes and encourage people to avoid them by thinking about their lifestyles.

"She and our father had given up so much of their younger lives bringing us up and her death came at a point when they were both really living. It also came in the year she finally became a grandmother and could not wait for the first Christmas with her grandson Charlie."

Ketoacidosis sees acidic deposits accumulate in the blood and can lead to major damage to vital organs.

The four million people who suffer from diabetes in the UK are all at risk of ketoacidosis if they do not have sufficient insulin in their blood streams.

Jamie and former Army serviceman Adam, who is now an engineer living in Chaffinch Drive, Uttoxeter, cycled 10 hours a day for 11 days to get that message across.

Jamie (left) and Adam in Cumbria
Jamie (left) and Adam in Cumbria

Jamie, a Virgin Atlantic worker who now lives in Surrey, said: "We have been training for the last six months and it's really given us something to focus and on helped the grieving process.

"The weather was awful and it was tough at times - I'm never going to underestimate a head-wind again, even downhill. When we finished the ride, we felt a sense of accomplishment, but also one of sadness, wondering what we're going to do with ourselves now.

"But it was about making sure people know how serious diabetes is and if they just go online to the Diabetes UK website and read about it once, we'll feel it was worth it. We've been overwhelmed by the support people have shown us and special thanks must go to Angus MacKinnon for providing a support van for the ride free of charge."

Jodie was well-known around town for being a keen darts player for the Black Swan, in Market Place. She became a familiar face in her jobs at the old bingo hall in High Street, St Mary's First School and Iceland.

The grandma-of-one went on to work at HMP Foston Hall and as an immigration officer at East Midlands Airport, where she was employed when she died.

Anyone who wants to donate to the cause can still do so before the end of August online here. Diabetes affects the pancreas' ability to produce insulin, which is needed so cells can absorb sugar and process it into energy. More information about diabetes is online here.

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