HEATHER'S 18th ANNUAL MEMORIAL WALK FOR DAD
Hello friend, and welcome to my fundraising page! Thank you so much for clicking that link!
This photo of me and dad makes me laugh. We both have the same haircut and big 1980s glasses! :)
Diabetes killed my dad in 2005, and I started walking that same year, just three months after he died. I can't believe this will be my EIGHTEENTH walk already. Where did the time go?
All I know is that I can't stop walking now. All of the dire warning statistics about the trajectory that diabetes was taking in our society that I cited in my earliest walk appeals are indeed coming true. When my father died in 2005, only 5% of the U.S. population was diabetic- about 16 million people. Today, the CDC says 10% of Americans are diabetic- THIRTY-SEVEN million people.
What happens when an epidemic meets a pandemic? Nothing good. Covid-19 has taken an additional terrible toll. The CDC says that in 2020, 40% of the people who died from Covid were diabetics, though diabetics make up "only" 10.5% of the US population. Deaths from diabetes itself surged 17% to more than 100,000 in 2020, based on a Reuters analysis of CDC data. Younger people – those ages 25 to 44 – suffered the sharpest increase, with a 29% jump in deaths. By comparison, all other deaths except those directly attributed to the coronavirus rose 6% in 2020, Reuters found.
The pandemic really caused a perfect storm situation for diabetics. Already 1 in 3 Americans were pre-diabetic (that's 96 million people, 84% of whom do not even know they have elevated blood sugar), and when people were sent home in March 2020, they stopped getting their exercise at school... gyms closed... people were afraid to go to the grocery store and bought more fast-food take out...people stayed away from hospitals and did not go in for their regular testing, or to have problems addressed at an early enough stage to save a limb from amputation, for example. I hate to say it, but here we are 2 years later, and Covid is still out there, elevating the risks for our loved ones.
That's enough with the terrible statistics though. Let's try to DO something about it!
Diabetes is not going to go away on its own. It is only through our efforts together that we will tackle this.
Please help if you can.
When you donate:
You spread awareness of the devastating effects of diabetes.
You advocate for a child discriminated against in school because of diabetes.
You fund life-saving research. In 2022, this equalled 16 million dollars' worth of grants to 242 different projects at 117 different institutions across the U.S.!
You provide access to community programs, kids' camps and free resources that help those living with diabetes.
Thank you for making a donation to this cause that is so very important to me!