“Kick Diabetes in the Face:” Hundreds Walk for a Type 1 Cure

Tens of thousands of dollars were raised by walkers to help research the disease

FARGO, ND — Hundreds of family members and close friends walked with Type 1 Diabetes patients to show they are not alone.

Parents at the JDRF walk at Scheels Arena said a diagnosis is a life changer.

Rainy weather did not stop families from telling the world about a disease which hits close to home.

“He was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2014,” Kristen Larson said. “He was four years old.”

A diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes changed her son Jacob’s lifestyle at a young age.

“It sucks, because you have to poke yourself like a lot of times,” Jacob told us. “Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it doesn’t.”

“It was a big shock because it’s a completely different lifestyle,” Kristen said. “I don’t have a medical background and suddenly I have to be giving my son four shots a day. It was especially hard for Jacob because he was scared of needles and shots.”

He’s not alone.

Not only does team “I’m So Sweet It Makes Me Sick” have his back, hundreds of other locals with the same disease are also fighting for a cure.

“We need to advocate and let people know, especially for our health care reform,” said Danelle Johnson, a 2017 JDRF fundraising chairperson. “Pre-existing conditions, lifetime maxes… If they can’t afford these treatments, they’re option is they die. So we have to support our communities.”

Her daughter, Danika Johnson, is a high school sophomore living with this condition.

She doesn’t let it stop her from playing volleyball and downhill skiing, but it comes with daily challenges.

“It’s changed the way that I do things every day,” Danika. “It hasn’t affected me too much with my friends since they’re all so supportive, but I’ve had to mature faster and grow up quicker.”

“We get up in the middle of the night, check her blood sugar,” Danelle added. “Wherever we are, we have to monitor her: make sure she eats enough, manage how much she exercises, how much she’s stressed, if she’s sick.”

Nearly a thousand people came together to give money for research and celebrate unity.

Many of the families I spoke with say living with diabetes can be hard, but it doesn’t have to get in the way of your childhood.

The kids we spoke with have this advice for anyone dealing with Type 1 Diabetes.

“Kick diabetes in the face,” Jacob said.

Danika adds, “Don’t stay private with it, speak up, ask for help.”

They said walks like these show physical proof that patients have loved ones who support them and don’t have to fight by themselves.

The event raised over $80,000 for researching a cure.

KVRR was a proud sponsor of the walk.

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