Glow run to shine light on disease affecting adults and children in Region 8

Glow run to shine light on disease affecting adults and children in Region 8
Participants raise awareness about diabetes. (Source: Arkansas Methodist Medical Center)
Participants raise awareness about diabetes. (Source: Arkansas Methodist Medical Center)
Glow Run beings at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, June 3. (Source: Arkansas Methodist Medical Center)
Glow Run beings at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, June 3. (Source: Arkansas Methodist Medical Center)

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The 4,000 Steps Glow Run for Diabetes is an opportunity to raise awareness about diabetes, a disease that touches every family.

Through a donation, individuals can honor persons currently managing the illness or remember those who succumbed to disease-related complications.

"This is an event that we've doing for several years, but only the second year that we've done it at night with the glow aspect and it's really fun," Shay Willis, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Arkansas Methodist Medical Center said. "The t-shirts glow in the dark." Those interested should register online at http://www.racesonline.com. Pre-registration closes at midnight Thursday, June 2, 2016.

"Search for this race because there's a lot on that website," Willis said. "It's $20 if you do it now and $25 the day of the event. Sign up early to be able to ensure that you get a t-shirt. I think they're going to have t-shirts and tank tops this year. The shirt glows in the dark. The medals glow in the dark."

Race day registration begins at Greene County Tech Middle School at 7:30 p.m. To be guaranteed a t-shirt, registration must be completed by Tuesday, May 24.

"This happens at what some people know as the Eagle Mile course," Willis said. "It's a two-mile course on the main campus of the Greene County Tech campus in Paragould, which is on West Kingshighway."

Proceeds from this event will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (JDRF), the American Diabetes Association and local diabetes prevention efforts.

"This is an opportunity for us to look at all ages because you have so many children these days with type 1. Adults with type 2 diabetes," Willis said. "It really affects a high percentage of our population. And if you have not been diagnosed, there's a good chance, based on the statistics that you may be a candidate for pre-diabetes. It's something that is almost an epidemic in our country. We want to raise the awareness of the importance of taking care of yourself and doing what you're told if you are diagnosed."

According to the American Diabetes Association, type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune disorder—a problem with the body's immune system. In a healthy body, specialized cells, called beta cells, in the pancreas make insulin. Insulin is a hormone that allows the body to use energy from food. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system mistakes beta cells for invaders and attacks them. When enough beta cells are destroyed, symptoms of diabetes appear. With type 2 diabetes, the beta cells still produce insulin. However, either the cells do not respond properly to the insulin or the insulin produced naturally is not enough to meet the needs of the body.

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