JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Region 8 residents are joining forces to find a cure for diabetes, with a kickoff luncheon Tuesday at the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Local residents gathered together with representatives from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to discuss the first annual Walk to Cure Diabetes.
Executive Director of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Renay Dean, says there are a large number of people in the Region 8 area affected by diabetes.
"We have a number of folks, families, in this area that are affected in this Northeast area of Arkansas, that have type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an auto immune disease that is very different from type 2 diabetes which is a metabolic disorder."
Type 1 diabetes strikes suddenly, making the personally insulin dependent for life. Many people often believe type 1 diabetes only affects children.
Dean says this couldn't be further from the truth. "It primarily affects children, but an adult can be diagnosed with it at any time. It is on the rise and we are seeing more and more people diagnosed with it. So, it is critical that we find a cure for this disease."
Jonesboro resident Steve Cox is one of the volunteers, and says the decision to get involved was easy. His son is one of the many people in the Region 8 area living with diabetes. "He's been dealing with it for many, many years now and he's done a great job, but it's still a job. Every day. He's a nineteen year old that has to worry about it. A lot of us when we were nineteen didn't have to worry about it. So, I'm more than happy to help out. We need to find a cure."
More than 26 million Americans live with diabetes, and over 30,000 children and adults are diagnosed each year with type 1 diabetes.
Cox and Dean both hope Region 8 residents will open their hearts and get involved. The walk will take place on October 15th and seven-thirty in downtown Jonesboro. The day will include a Kid's Korner, vendor area, T-shirt contest, food and much more!
They have already raised over twenty-one thousand dollars through sponsorships.
To register to walk, log onto this website.
For more information about the JDRF, log onto their website.