It’s easy to feel disheartened in the face of all the upsetting news out there about diabetes, namely:
- 21 million Americans currently have it.
- It’s the fifth leading cause of death due to disease in the U.S.
- Over 80,000 people lose limbs due to diabetes.
- Nearly 10% of American adults currently have it
Rather than feel discouraged, why not step up–or more precisely, Step Out — and do something about it?
The American Diabetes Association will give you the chance to fight back through its annual Step Out to Fight Diabetes (formerly known as America’s Walk for Diabetes), which raises more than $20 million a year to support research, public information campaigns, and to aid those living with the disease.
Residents of the 48 contiguous states will get a chance to start stepping — two hundred cities from Bangor, Maine to San Diego, California will hold Step Out to Fight Diabetes days in fall 2007. Check here to find dates in your home state or town.
Participating in Step Out to Fight Diabetes won’t just make you feel good for raising money for a very worthy cause. It’ll also give you the chance to do something good for yourself — namely, getting exercise by taking a nice walk that will be at least 2.5 miles and as many as 6 miles long, the ADA says, depending on where you choose to hit the pavement.
You don’t have to be a speed walker or super-fit athlete to walk for the cause — anyone can join in, even kids in some locations. And if you can’t walk, that’s OK — you can lend your support by sponsoring a walker, recruiting sponsors and volunteers, providing logistical support the day of the event in your hometown, or even cheering on and giving water to walkers along the route. (Click here to find out how).
The ADA’s Step Out to Fight Diabetes website includes the inspiring story of walker Sam Zaccari, himself a diabetic, whom the ADA credits with singlehandedly raising an astounding $300,000 since the first walk in 1991. This year, he’s already raised $14,000 and he set himself a goal of $27,001, one more dollar than he raised in 2006!
"Just get out there and ask for it," Zaccari says of how he’s pulled off this impressive fundraising feat. "You’re not going to get it unless you ask for it."
From Jennifer Moore