GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Abigail Buford had to test her blood sugar before she could take a walk around Jones Park for the 2017 Diabetes Walk.
The 8 year old from Ocean Springs was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on May 31. Since then, she has learned about sugar levels, test strips, and insulin shots - she needs seven of them each day.
Her mom, Brittany Buford, says Abigail is doing great, but diabetes means a change in lifestyle.
"It's been a great learning experience. She has to take about seven shots a day, she checks her blood sugar seven to 10 times a day; in the morning, all during school, at night, before bedtime. It's something we have to think about all the time," Buford said.
After sticking her finger to draw a drop of blood, the glucose meter quickly analyzed her blood sugar level and Abigail announced "157, good to go."
Team Abigail was 20 strong, but she's not the only one in the family diabetes. Her grandfather also battles the disease.
Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes joined the 250 walkers in Jones Park and thanked them for raising awareness and money to fight diabetes. The diseases affects 373,000 people in Mississippi, according the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that primarily occurs in children and young adults. Type II diabetes is the most common form of the disease affecting 90-95 percent of those diagnosed with the diabetes.
The goal of the Gulf Coast Walk was to raise $15,000, though the final numbers won't be in until all the donations are tallied next week. To learn more about the symptoms and treatment of diabetes, as well as resources for patients, visit the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi online at https://msdiabetes.org/