The weather brighened up in the afternoon after early showers Saturday morning to set the scene for the Cold Lake Sun Life Walk to Cure Diabetes for JDRF – and it did not disappoint organizers. Over 80 people walked to support the fight against Type 1 diabetes raising $11,000 in the event’s 25th anniversary.
Volunteer Alex Claybert was very pleased with the results, considering the reason she got involved originally was her own diagnosis two decades ago.
“I’ve been diabetic now for almost 22 years, and that’s how I got involved. I’m all about creating awareness and educating everybody about what diabetes is and what it’s like,” said Claybert.
The four kilometre walk began at 2pm at the Cold Lake Energy Centre and looped at Shopper’s Drug Mart. Once the participants crossed the finish line they were treated to pizza.
Every year an ambassador for the walk is chosen to kick off the event and tell their story. Since there are a lot of myths about what Type 1 diabetes entails, sharing their story helps create understanding. This year the Ambassador for Cold Lake, and Edmonton too, was elementary school student Kyle, who couldn’t wait to start the day and get walking.
This walk is one of several JDRF walks that takes place in Alberta, and all over the country.
“Over the next 40,000 Canadians will walk in support of JDRF to find a cure for type 1 diabetes,” said JDRF representative, Cindy Walker.
“There’s a wonderful warmth and energy here in Cold Lake. As soon as you approach the walk you get a sense of the family-friendly even that it is, and how engaged and important finding a cure for Type 1 is. That strikes me: the devotion and commitment to finding a cure.”
In 2017, JDRF invested over $4 million with Canadian researchers, who do some of the most advanced research on Type 1 diabetes in the world.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when little to no insulin is released into the body, which results in sugars building up instead of being used for energy.