1 of 2
Area residents participate in an American Diabetes Association Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes. This year’s walk, one of the association’s biggest fund-raisers, is set for Oct. 4 at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
2 of 2
Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville will be the host venue for the American Diabetes Association’s annual Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes Saturday, Oct. 4.
The walk has proven to be the ADA’s most beneficial event to raise awareness about the importance of early detection, treatment and fund-raising.
“We have so many partners such as Alton Memorial Hospital, St. Anthony’s Hospital and Walgreen’s that bring equipment out to the walk to help serve the community,” community relations coordinator Tammy Stilwell said. “They check blood pressure, body mass index, and perform finger sticks to check blood sugar levels, and they do it all there at the walk.”
Stilwell, a registered nurse, learned she had Type 1 diabetes while at a hospital health fair that provided blood sugar testing. She was unaware of her condition and said she feels fortunate she was diagnosed and treated.
“So many people don’t know the signs and symptoms,” Stilwell said. “It’s so important to be tested because this is a condition that can be treated and it can save your life and give you excellent quality of life.”
The walk, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., will feature local entertainment and music, children’s activities such as bounce houses and a football toss competition. Fredbird will meet and greet participants and visitors from 10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Food will be donated by Anton’s Concessions and Catering, which is catering a second event for the ADA Sunday, Nov. 16, at Hidden Lake Winery.
“The goal for this year’s walk is to raise $115,000,” ADA manager Rawnie Berry said. “We know it’s a reachable goal and we’ve had such great turnouts that get better and better each year.”
Besides raising funds for research, testing and treatments, the main goals for the ADA are awareness and education.
“The sooner a person is diagnosed with diabetes, the sooner treatment can start and cells can be saved,” Berry said. “We want to help people learn about this disease because it can be there and people not have a clue they have it.”
Participants can make a donation, walk as an individual, register a team or join an existing team at www.stepout.diabetes.org.