JDRF Walk Brings Awareness, Support for Those Suffering with Type 1 Diabetes

DULUTH, Minn. — Saturday morning brought out over a hundred people to the Gichi-Dde’ Akiing park for a walk that raises awareness about type one diabetes, and shows those who have it, that they are not alone.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, or JDRF, partnered with Essentia Health to bring this walk back to Duluth. Teams spent the 3 to 4 months ahead of the event fundraising.

“So someone who has type one, they absolutely have to take insulin injections every day multiple times a day for the rest of their life,” Camille Ice, a Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist said.

It’s not just the constant insulin doses that feel like an inconvenience, those living with type one diabetes say it’s a shadow that follows them through all of life.

“Like trying to eat what you want when you can’t, trying to do stuff when you can’t do it, just a lot of that stuff,” Leo Jondreau, a 13 3year old living with type 1 diabetes said.

The autoimmune disease strikes both children and adults suddenly. Even just headaches are a common symptom that leads to the discovery of having the disease.

“Type one diabetes is diagnosed usually very very young, there’s nothing that you do to get type one diabetes, it just happens, and there is no cure for type one diabetes,” Ice said.

Leo Jondreau was just diagnosed in December, after feeling sick for a few days. At the walk he says it was inspiring to see others going through the same troubles.

“Just really happy that a lot of people are not alone in this,” he said.

And that is one of the many intentions of this walk, to show people that they are not alone, and that health professionals are fighting for a cure. JDRF’s main goal is to create a world without type one diabetes. They work to do that by bringing people together to fund-raise for research and a cure.  And so those with type 1, know they are among many.

“I think one of the coolest parts about the walk today is a chance for kids living with type one diabetes to be able to come together and meet other children who have type one. A lot of times they may be the only one in their community, the only one in the whole school, there’s nobody else like them. So for an event like this where they can all come together and see you know look at all these other kids who are just like me it’s really cool,” Ice said.

And for those battling the disease like Leo, the walk left them feeling, “really happy and appreciated”.

The event had a goal of raising $10,000 towards JDRF’s research and services, and they were able to surpass that by raising $29,000 total.

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