By: Deanna Rebro | Category: Other | Issue: September 2014
Jane Stuart, Magen Davis and Kathy Brown from the Tulsa chapter of the American Diabetes Association urge everyone to get involved in the effort to stop diabetes, a disease that afflicts 29 million Americans and affects virtually everyone.
Diabetes affects everyone, whether personally, a loved one, friend or coworker. There is no cure. But diabetes must be stopped, soon.
Latest statistics show that 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes, and the numbers are increasing. A recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that if current trends continue, one in three Americans will be diagnosed with diabetes in 2050.
Even more alarming, the biggest jump in 15 years – more than tripling – is in Oklahoma. One in six Oklahomans has been diagnosed with diabetes, and one in four of the state is undiagnosed.
On October 11, “Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes” will aim to find a cure for diabetes, while supporting those in Oklahoma who are living with this disease in one way or another. The event, presented by the Tulsa chapter of the American Diabetes Association, will be at the University of Tulsa.
Participants are encouraged to form a team of two or more people who will recruit pledges for walking the 3.3-mile course. Coworkers, school associates, clubs or organizations, or just friends and family can share this fun and worthwhile experience as a team. Quite often, teams are formed in honor of an individual or in memory of a loved one who has passed. A very special team, Red Striders, will demonstrate the courage of living with diabetes every day.
Step Out Manager Magen Davis encourages everyone to participate. “In this home stretch, we want as many people as possible to get involved,” she says, “and to get the word out to as many other people as they can.” She makes a special appeal to area corporations. “The cost of diabetes in lost productivity is staggering,” she adds.
Statistics show that individuals with diabetes have health care costs 2.3 times higher than those without diabetes. One in 10 health care dollars is spent treating diabetes and all of its complications. This health care burden that lowers life expectancy by up to 15 years also increases the risk of heart disease by two to four times, and is the leading cause of kidney disease, adult-onset blindness, neuropathy, hearing loss and non-traumatic lower limb amputations.
“We want companies to make a corporate-wide wellness initiative a top priority,” she says, “and we can help.” The Tulsa ADA chapter offers prevention plans, as well as resources and programs that deal with every aspect of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. From the day someone is given that lifelong diagnosis, support is just a phone call away. Funds from Step Out will help assure all the latest resources remain available to anyone in need.
“I am particularly grateful to all the companies that offer matching funds to their employees,” says Magen. Some corporations extend this generosity to their retirees. She encourages employees to contact their human relations departments to ask about this possibility.
Participants don’t have to know anything about fundraising or diabetes to join Step Out. Turnkey tools for signing up and assembling a team are available online. Smart phone apps and social media are included. There are even provisions for virtual walkers who cannot be there in person but still want to show their support. “Virtually everyone in Oklahoma has a personal connection with diabetes. And we all have the ability to influence our friends, family, co-workers and employers to make a difference. Take the initiative to form a Step Out team, get your employer’s support and participation, and help us improve the lives and health of those we know who are impacted by this disease or at risk for developing it in the future,” said Anita Holloway, Ernst & Young LLP, 2014 Step Out Corporate Recruitment Chair.
Numerous awards will be presented after the walk, which will take place rain or shine. Besides walking on October 11, many volunteers are needed to make the event successful and enjoyable. Among other tasks, volunteers can help set up tents and tables, distribute water, or simply clap and cheer. Jane Stuart, associate manager, would be happy to accept volunteers or answer questions about the event.
For more information, contact
Deanna Rebro has worked in the publishing industry 30+ years, including eight years writing for Value News. She has also worked in real estate for the past six years. Deanna graduated from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio with a B.A. in Journalism. Outside of work, she serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Pet Adoption League. “Every story I write is a learning experience,” she said.