A morning with temperatures in the mid-50s didn’t deter nearly 6,000 walkers who came out to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s walk to cure diabetes.
JDRF bills itself as the largest nonprofit funder of Type 1 diabetes research in the world, according to its website.
The money raised goes to that research, said Trevel Dalser, development manager for the Mid-Ohio chapter.
The walk — which took place Sunday at Ohio State — raised $376,451, or 60 percent of its $625,613 goal as of Sunday evening, according to its website.
“It’s important to raise money for Type 1 diabetes because it’s an autoimmune disease and there is no way to get rid of it,” said Cathy Paessun, executive director of the Mid-Ohio chapter. “We need to find better treatments and eventually a cure.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition that can affect both children and adults and occurs when a person’s immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Its cause is unknown, though genetics and exposure to certain factors like viruses might trigger it. Some of its symptoms include increased thirst, extreme hunger, irritability and fatigue.
Type 1 diabetes affects about 3 million people in the United States, Dalser said.
Some OSU organizations were also at the event to show awareness. Alpha Gamma Delta, an OSU sorority, raises diabetes awareness as a philanthropy project.
Sarah Rust, a fourth-year in public heath, is a member of Alpha Gamma Delta and has participated in the walk for the past three years.
“As a public health major, I think awareness for any illness is important, but especially Type 1 diabetes for children,” she said. “Type 1 is not easy to do alone, and events like this show support for the community.”
OSU’s campus was an ideal location to host the event, Paessun said.
“Ohio State is one of the most welcoming organizations and locations for a nonprofit event. The event crew is amazing and it’s a very welcoming community,” Paessun said.