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Diabetes walk raises awareness through numbers PDF Print E-mail
Monday, September 09, 2013 12:00 AM


Staff Writer

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OAKWOOD — The Oakwood Community Walk for Diabetes will step off 300 strong this Saturday after starting five years ago with 60 registered walkers.

Sandy Seibert started the walk in 2009 with the help of her lifelong friend, Sally Armstrong, and other friends. Seibert’s goal has always been just to get more people involved each year.

Seibert has had a lot of experience with diabetes. She has lived with Type 1 diabetes for 20 years and her sister, who had been diagnosed with diabetes at 11 years old, died at the age of 37 in 2008 from complications from the disease.

Another family member, a 16-month-old boy, was diagnosed with diabetes and Seibert said he was one of the main reasons she wanted to the start the walk.

“I wanted him to know you have support,” Seibert said. “We get more and more kids at the walk each year and I want them to know they’re not alone in it.”

Raising awareness about diabetes and showing those who have the disease that there is a community of support behind them motivates Seibert to continue doing the event.

“To me, the awareness is more important than funds we raise,” Seibert said. “If I were to only raise $100, I would be fine with that because I know that I am raising awareness.”

With participants having quintupled since the first walk, Seibert said she is happy with the progress throughout the years and the awareness she has already brought to a disease that has affected so many lives.

One fact about the disease Seibert said she believes a lot of people do not know is the complications that come with it.

Heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, nervous system disease and amputation are all complications that can stem from diabetes.

Seibert also said many people believe that those with diabetes can stop taking insulin if they take care of themselves right, but Seibert said that is simply not true.

“People with Type 1 diabetes will have to take insulin forever,” she said. “People with Type 2 can control it so that they may be able to go off of insulin some day.”

The total costs of those diagnosed with diabetes in just the United States in 2012 was $245 billion, according to the American Diabetes Association website,

The Walk for Diabetes registration period has ended but raffles will take place at the event as well. The big item for raffle is an iPad mini, which tickets are on sale now,;$1 each or six for $5 up until the day of the event. Businesses have donated other items that will be raffled off and tickets will go on sale at the event only. The raffle for the iPad mini is the only raffle participants need not be present to win.

A free-will donation lunch will also be available after the walk.

“Everything is donated so all the money made at the walk is revenue,” Seibert said.

A lot of people from the Oakwood community come out to support the walk and it has expanded throughout the years to include participants from Delphos, Defiance, Continental and Paulding, she said. Even with just 60 walkers, it seemed like a mob of people in the small Oakwood community.

The event will start at 1 p.m. Saturday at Oakwood Elementary School. All funds raised, minus the cost of the T-shirt for registered walkers, will go to the ADA.

To donate to the ADA on behalf of the Oakwood Community Walk for Diabetes, visit

The ADA uses money donated to the organization to fund research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; deliver services to hundreds of communities; provide objective and credible information; and give voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes.

To learn more about diabetes and the Oakwood Community Walk for Diabetes, visit

***Diabetes is a problem within the body that causes blood glucose (sugar) levels to rise higher than normal, according to the ADA website. There are different types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2 and gestational.

Gestational diabetes occurs in some women when they are pregnant. It does not mean that the woman had diabetes before or will have diabetes after giving birth, according to the website.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. With Type 2 diabetes, the body does not use insulin properly, which is called insulin resistance. At first, the pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it but over time, it is not able to keep up and cannot make enough insulin to keep the blood glucose at normal levels, according to the ADA website.

Type 1 is usually diagnosed in children and young adults and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. According to the ADA website, in this case, the body does not produce enough insulin. Of people diagnosed with diabetes, only 5 percent have Type 1 of the disease.


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