CSD prepares for diabetes walk
by Rory Doyle
Mar 20, 2013 | 2159 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Three schools from the Cleveland School District will be taking part in the effort to cure Type 1 diabetes.

Bell Academy, Parks Elementary and Pearman Elementary will be participating in the March 28 Kids Walk to Cure Diabetes program.

Cleveland School District first partook in the walk last year and the national program spearheaded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation continues to grow across American schools.

"We have eight students on record in the Cleveland School District with Type 1 diabetes," said Angie Campbell, a nurse with the district and event coordinator. "It doesn't seem like a big number considering the amount of kids in our schools, but to me, any amount is too many."

The walk is linked with an in-school fundraising program operating on two goals: to educate students about Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and to provide them with an opportunity to make a difference by raising money for T1D.

The money raised will be sent to JDRF to contribute towards research, treatment and prevention.

Those wishing to donate can also find a link for the district platform at www2.jdrf.org.

Donations will wrap up on the day of the walk, the ceremonial closing to the campaign.

"We raised about $650 last year between two schools," said Campbell. "The kids are excited and we're looking to build on last year's success."

Keshaune Griffin, 13, a seventh-grader at D.M. Smith Middle School, walked last year and has a special connection to the event.

"It's important to me because it gives me the chance to meet other young people who also have Type 1 diabetes," said Griffin.

Griffin was diagnosed with T1D in the fourth grade but has learned to make the most of life ever since.

"Life has been different but it's enjoyable," said Griffin. "I'm happy to have all the family and friends help me through this."

Griffin, a former student at Bell Academy, is anticipating another opportunity to put a positive twist on the illness after receiving the invite to come back and walk at Bell again this year.

"I look forward to walking with people like me — people who have experienced what I've experienced.

"Diabetes is more than just the medicine you take or the food you can't eat. It's about going out there, having fun and living with it."

The Kids Walk to Cure Diabetes program also helps foster an environment of positive character building and community service.

Through JDRF efforts, students learn tolerance and empathy for others and raise awareness of T1D in the community.

As the largest charitable supporter of T1D research, JDRF is currently sponsoring $530 million in scientific research in 17 countries.

More than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education.

Campbell added that it's imperative parents help schools identify health problems when students are young.

"Parents need to help schools know if their child has diabetes or any other medical problems," she said. "Teachers and the staff are informed about these issues and students feel more comfortable knowing that."