Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes-Columbus is an annual event to raise money and awareness about diabetes. The Columbus walk is held at Wolfe Park and over 500 participants walk one or three miles to show support to those who have been affected by diabetes. The Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes event has more than 100,000 participants in 95 cities throughout the United States, and in over 20 years, this event has raised over $200 million to stop diabetes! This walk is a family affair, for a disease that has touched our lives. My nine year old niece, KayLynn, has type 1 diabetes, and my family walks for her! We walk to tell her story and to remind her that she can live beyond type 1!
KayLynn was diagnosed with Celiac disease at eighteen months old. Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder, causes an immune response that attacks the small intestine when eating gluten. At the age of three, she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is when the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed in the body to convert sugars, starches, and other foods into energy that is needed for everyday life. Living with diabetes is difficult. She checks her blood sugar four to eight times daily (five months ago she received a continuous glucose monitor which has decreased the number of finger sticks per day), receives four injections per day, and has two types of insulin (fast acting for after meals and long acting for night time). Along with checking her blood sugar and receiving injections, KayLynn has to monitor her food intake (carbohydrates per meal) and eat no gluten products to manage her Celiac disease.
In spite of living with Celiac and type 1 diabetes, KayLynn is a regular nine year old kid! She loves to read, play with her dolls, and listen to music. KayLynn is beautiful and brave and has taught our family, and all who meet her, that diabetes will not control or stop her life! In fact, KayLynn named our Step Out Team, “Even though she is small, she is brave.” How awesome is that?! Our family encourages her to never set limitations for herself even though she has type 1 diabetes!
The American Diabetes Association was founded in 1940. For 75 years, the American Diabetes Association has supported individuals and their families who are affected by this disease, and have raised money for research and awareness about diabetes. It is estimated that over 29 million people in the United States have either type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes! The American Diabetes Association’s website www.diabetes.org is a great tool to educate yourself about this disease, and to show your support to stop diabetes.
Thanks for reading!