July 23, 2014
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WNY Woman

Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes

Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes Takes Place Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011 at Coca Cola Field

About 9.7 percent of all Western New Yorker’s have diabetes. The two zip codes in New York State with the highest rate of diabetes complications are in Western New York, Niagara Falls and the East Side of Buffalo. To combat these alarming statistics in our community, the American Diabetes Association will hold its annual walk, “Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes,” on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011 at Coca-Cola Field, 275 Washington Street, Buffalo, NY 14203. Registration is at 9 a.m. and the walk kicks off at 10 a.m. For sponsorship information or to register as a team or as an individual walker, call (716) 835-0274, ext. 3702 or visit www.diabetes.org/stepoutbuffalo.

The American Diabetes Association Youth Ambassador, 10 year-old Phyllis Carr, has the right attitude about managing her diabetes. She controls the disease and she doesn’t let the disease control her or her life.

The fifth-grade student who attends Cheektowaga Central Middle School was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age seven. One day she was feeling tired, sluggish, and light-headed. Phyllis had already been seeing an endocrinologist for thyroid issues. Her mom, who also has diabetes, decided to check her blood sugar. When the reading was determined to be very high at 367 her mother took her to the hospital. Phyllis’ mom, Melissa King, said, “I knew she would have to have shots the rest of her life. I sat and cried. Diabetes runs in the family, so Phyllis knew what she would need to do to manage her diabetes.”

Even though Phyllis regularly has to take insulin injections, she says the worst part of diabetes is having to check her blood glucose all the time. “I like to eat, so I have to check it a lot,” said Phyllis. “Five times a day.”

To learn more about what she could do to best manage her diabetes Phyllis attended Camp Aspire outside of Rochester in the summer of 2010. The camp, funded by the American Diabetes Association, serves Western New York children with diabetes. Phyllis plans on going back to camp in 2012. “Swimming is the best part,” she said.

Phyllis’ message to other children with diabetes shows that she has wisdom beyond her 10 years. “There is nothing I can’t do. You can do anything other kids can do. Don’t be afraid to tell others you have diabetes,” said Phyllis. She enjoys the same activities all 10 year-olds do, like swimming and playing with her German Shepard, Crystal. She wants to be a veterinarian.

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

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