Local organization walks to spread awareness and end diabetes

People walking to end Type 1

By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Caleb Aguayo

TUSCALOOSA – Painted faces shone in the sun at Snow Hinton Park Saturday and music blasted over the speakers.  The pop of streamers and loud cheers drew attention to a large line of people steadily beginning their trek around the park’s sidewalks.

With November being National Diabetes Awareness Month (and World Diabetes Day on Monday, Nov. 14), the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation held its second annual walk in Tuscaloosa. The organizers said the walk’s purpose was to raise money and spread awareness in the community for type 1 diabetes.

According to regional JDRF leader Michelle Krouse, the organization also held walks this month in the cities of Albertville and Birmingham. She also said through these three walks, the JDRF has raised more than $130,000 for type 1 diabetes research.

Krouse said nearly twice the amount of people attended this year compared to last year. And she said it makes a difference when people are aware of the disease.

“As you may or may not know, there is no cure for diabetes. Insulin is not a cure,” Krouse said. However, she added insulin is a necessity for those living with diabetes.

“The JDRF is currently working on insulin affordability, which is a crisis in Alabama for our families who can’t afford their insulin,” Krouse said. And projects like these by the JDRF have helped some of those living with type 1 diabetes.

Rachel Santiago, a volunteer at the walk and a person living with diabetes, said, “It’s a very

demanding disease. It is 24-hour, seven days a week, 365 days a year where you’re trying to manage and control everything, and it’s an imperfect disease. And so by raising awareness to the community, it helps with breaking down stereotypes, and providing proper education, so that we might be able to find a cure.” Santiago also said awareness for type 1 diabetes is just as important as breast cancer and Alzheimer’s awarenesses.

If you wish to participate or help with the JDRF, you can do so at www.jdrf.org/join.


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