VIDEO: Downtown Columbus Hosts Fifteenth Annual Walk for Diabetes

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By: Parker King

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) –

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Downtown Columbus held its fifteenth annual walk to support the fight against one of the biggest health problems in Mississippi, diabetes.

The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi has been putting on walks since 1994,and they have aimed at battling the spreading disease.

In the state almost one in every eight people have type one or type two diabetes, and nearly one in every three people are at risk of developing diabetes.

While rising costs in medicine, such as insulin, and medical care are strains for families affected by the disease, the Diabetes Foundation tries to lend a

helping hand.

“we’re the only group that does the kinds of programs and services to help people out, to help educate our health professionals,” said Irena McClain,

Associate Director of the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi.

This organization is the only nonprofit foundation in Mississippi that keeps every dollar they raise within the state.

It means a lot for supporters of the organization because they know where their donations are going.

“I live in Mississippi; I work in Mississippi. So the money stays in Mississippi, and that’s important,” said Pamela Hudson, Team Captain for Steel Dynamics.

Before the run, participants and donors had the options of either a 5K or a one mile family run.

Runners would start in the main area, go halfway, and return to the main area for hot dogs, ice cold water, and fun contests.

As far as donations and community support, organizers and volunteers are grateful.

“It’s a very good cause, and a lot of people are just always friendly. Everyone here is very supportive, as far as the companies. You can see all the signs

and everything,” Hudson said.

The national average of people diagnosed with diabetes in at 9.3%, compared to Mississippi’s 13%, and the numbers are continuing to increase every year.

“both Type one and Type two diabetes are growing in prevalence, globally, and we have to address this.”

The foundation looks to continue offering help, education, and support to families state-wide.