BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – There was a record turnout Sunday morning in Delaware Park for the 22nd annual Walk To Cure Diabetes.
The goal this year was to raise $650,000 to fund diabetes research. On Sunday, 3,200 people walked in solidarity, hopeful a cure is on the horizon for Type-1 diabetes, commonly known as juvenile diabetes. It is a disease that changes entire families’ lives.
“It changes tremendously. Everyone in the family needs to become involved. It doesn’t just affect Andrew. It affects all of us,” said Melanie Bodecker, whose son has diabetes.
The disease that affects people of all ages, but is often diagnosed in children, requires daily insulin shots. Parents need to constantly monitor their blood-sugar levels. It affects more than 15,000 families in Western New York and those affected need to be strong.
“Olivia is a trooper. She has taken this and dealt with it every day like it’s her normal life,” said Shannon Volland, the mother of a 5-year-old girl with diabetes.
Doctors don’t know why some people get juvenile diabetes and others do not. Unlike Type-2 diabetes, it’s not caused by poor diet.
But the good news is, experts believe Type-1 diabetes can be cured. Researchers are still working on it.
“Right, Liv? We’re going to find a cure. We’re going to turn Type-1 into type-none,” Volland said.
MacKenzie Duffy from Wheatfield was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes when she was 4-years-old. Now 13, she says at times it’s been a very tough experience.
Some adults with the disease are thankful it is now easier to live with.
“I’m hopeful for a cure. But I just want people to understand, with research and things that are going on now, that you can live a normal life. And for me, that’s what’s really important. For the younger kids here today, I would love them to not have to worry about diabetes and growing up that way,” said Patrick Marks, the JDRF board president.
News 4 has been a community sponsor of the ‘Walk to Cure Diabetes’ for many years. Jacquie Walker led the teams of walkers as they stepped off.
JDRF officials believe they accomplished this year’s fundraising goal.