The month of November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Greene County recently held its third annual Diabetes Community Walk, to help raise awareness for a disease that affects so many lives.
86 million Americans are currently living with diabetes, and nearly one in three people suffer from pre-diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the body’s blood sugar levels are too high. Pre-diabetes is when blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet at the level of type two diabetes.
Shelina Bonner is a family consumer science agent and has been in charge of the walk for the past three years. She said that in the last two years the walk has seen numbers as high as one-hundred and twenty, and hopes they continue to grow.
“So it just came to me, I think I need to have like a community awareness type of program so that everybody who has diabetes can find out what type of information.”
Bonner said that when people arrive at the event they first register, and then there’s a program. Bonner welcomes everyone herself, followed by a health department speaker.
The last speaker is Paula Wilson, who’s daughter Brooke was diagnosed with type one diabetes at a very early age.
Following the program, the participants will head out on their walk. The walk occurs on a Greene County Recreational track.
“They’ll walk around as many times as they like to. I’m not giving them a set time because the first year that we did it we had seniors trying to walk too fast. So we just have them walk around as much as they can,” said Bonner.
When the walkers returned they were treated with a healthy lunch, followed by line dancing entertainment from the Senior Center in Lenoir County.
Also at the event was a Greene County Health Care bus, providing free blood pressure and blood sugar testing to participants.
Bonner says she plans to host this walk for the next two years, and then move to a different way to help show awareness for diabetes.