Dozens walk to draw awareness to diabetes

Dozens walk to draw awareness to diabetes
More than 150 people came out Saturday to walk to find a cure for diabetes. (Source: Photo WLOX)

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - More than a hundred people took steps toward finding a cure for diabetes.

“We have family members with diabetes, neighbors, friends, so we’re just here for the cause, and we pray that there’s a cure for it," said Dwight McNair.

That was the goal of Saturday's Walk for Diabetes at Jones Park.

More than 370,000 Mississippians live with the disease, ranking Mississippi as one of the top states in the nation for overall diabetes prevalence.

“We’re raising awareness for the signs and symptoms and just letting everyone know, and it is a big health concern, and we want everybody to be aware and raise some money," said Ashley Johnson, Southern Regional Coordinator for the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi.

The walk drew out around 150 people, among them Siovhan Bailey. Her daughter Georgia was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes nearly four years ago.

For her, this walk sends a strong message.

“It’s something we need a cure for, and then as well, we need pharmaceuticals to bring prices down so people can afford to use the insulin to keep themselves alive and healthy," Bailey said.

All of the money raised from the walk will fund the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi’s educational and assistance programs.

The programs have helped those like Mayra Rocha. Her son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was four.

“There’s been times or two we had one pump left, and we had to call them, and they sent us one, and without the donations and the support, we would be lost," Rocha said.

Every step Saturday was an effort to combat a serious illness.

“So you know that there is care and love from others to help and encourage people to donate to the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi, so we can put money toward finding a cure," Bailey said.

This year’s goal for the walk was to raise $12,000-15,000.

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