TERRE HAUTE —
“On your mark, set, go,” said Carol Lucas, chairwoman of health and nursing services for the Vigo County School Corp., as nearly 200 participants began to run or walk in a 1-mile diabetes awareness event Saturday morning.
This year marked the fifth year for the fun run/walk event at Sugar Creek Consolidated Elementary School.
Last year, the event raised $4,000, said Carol Dixon of the American Diabetes Association.
“We use the money for a summer diabetes camp for kids. We have 190 kids come to the camp and about 90 medical staff,” Dixon said. There, participants learn how to manage diabetes under extreme conditions, as they hike and do other outdoor activities.
“They also receive a nutrition plan and learn to count carbs and insulin ratios. They also meet other kids who also have diabetes,” Dixon said.
Lucas used a loudspeaker to start the race, as well as inform participants of diabetes.
Nationally, 8.3 percent of the nation’s population has diabetes. Indiana’s rate is 10.2 percent, while Vigo County’s rate is 9.2 percent, Lucas said.
“Every 17 seconds, someone is diagnosed with diabetes,” she said.
About 6,700 children have diabetes in Indiana, with 57.5 percent with Type 1, which requires insulin, and 42.5 percent with Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease in which there are high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Over time, high blood glucose levels can lead to heart attack, stroke, nerve damage or kidney and eye problems. Physical activity and healthy eating habits can help prevent Type 2 diabetes, Dixon said.
Lucas said the fundraising effort will continue for at least a month, as T-shirts commemorating the race are sold.
The race brought student runners from Fayette, DeVaney and Sugar Creek Consolidated elementary schools, along with runners from West Vigo Middle School and West Vigo High School.
Damon Kesler, 12, of Sugar Creek Consolidated, finished first among participating student racers.
Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@