The Renegade Rip

Bakersfield looks to make a dent in diabetes

MJ Inguito

Nicholas Torres, Reporter

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On Nov. 16, the local chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation held their 16th Annual Cure for Diabetes Walk at Yokuts Park.

Allison Perkins, chapter manager, explained that she felt that the participation from the city, kids, and volunteers is what makes this event great.

“I think that people think that diabetes is something we get because we eat the wrong food and don’t exercise, and that is type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is when your pancreas just dies and we don’t know why, but we do know that this disease is the second-leading childhood disease in the Central Valley,” she said.

Perkins went on to explain that we are getting more and more type 1 diabetics.

“We have issues. The reason we do what we do is to raise money for a cure,” she said. “This is a serious problem and it needs to be addressed.”

Melody Carr, who was part of her son’s team, Austin’s Army, was there to show support for her son, daughter, and other diabetics.

“When Austin was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes we knew nothing about it.  We really wanted to get involved and try to learn more and educate people,” she said. Austin was diagnosed in 2005 and their two-year-old daughter, Grace, was also recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Austin said he enjoys coming to JDRF events. “I always love doing this stuff,” he said. “I’ve had diabetes for a couple of years so I am kind of used to it, so now I am just helping my sister keep regulated and comfortable.”

Larry Meizer, who is the California Regional director for the JDRF, said he thinks the event is “an amazing opportunity to mobilize the community to find a cure for diabetes.”

Meizer explained that diabetes runs in his family.

“I have seen the progress and how what the people are doing here change the lives of many people,” he said.

“We really need to be clear on the distinction between type 1 and type 2 diabetes,” he said. “We need to make people aware of that, it can strike anybody at anytime.”

Meizer mentioned that there does not necessarily need to be more events like this, but there needs to be more people at these events.

“It will give a better chance to educate people.”

Perkins said the monetary goal for this year is $185,000.

“We are going to fund raise all the way until the end of February. We would love to get BC to do a walk for us.”

Each one of these people had a firm belief that there will one day be a cure for diabetes, whether it is in the near future or in 100 years.

When participants returned from their walk, there were food booths and drink stations that awaited them.

Some of the activities included a jump house for the kids and a performance by Bakersfield High School cheerleaders.

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Bakersfield looks to make a dent in diabetes