Hundreds walk to support those with diabetes in North Jackson

Published: Oct. 1, 2023 at 9:07 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The 29th annual Mississippi’s Walk For Diabetes took place Sunday afternoon right here in the capital city, raising thousands of dollars for those struggling with the disease.

“It’s such a problem in our community, and we need to work on it,” participant Clare Wiley said.

Hundreds from around the Jackson Metro laced up their running shoes and stepped into North Jackson to support one of the largest groups in the Magnolia State — those with diabetes.

“It’s our 29th year for Mississippi’s Walk for Diabetes Metro Jackson. It’s a showing of community support for adults and kids with type one and type two diabetes,” event organizer Irena McClain said.

According to the CDC, over 333,000 Mississippians have been diagnosed with diabetes. Summer Ables’ father, Terry Ables, was one of those people before passing away last year.

“We did this walk every single year since I was like four years old. So, this year is definitely different. It’s bittersweet,” Ables explained. “It was a combination of things throughout the years. He had it since he was 15. All his organs were having to work overtime to compensate for this disease. So this, to me, is like my homage to him.”

Ables’ story is similar to those shared by many others who attended this weekend’s event.

“When we first found out, we thought the worst, but it is manageable with exercise and eating right. She got well, and we all can do that. It’s just important to get out and exercise and move the body,” Camissica Hinton, whose mother had diabetes for 30 years, explained.

By Sunday, over $5,000 had been raised by groups and individuals participating in the walk, but where will that money go?

“It goes towards Patient Assistance. It goes towards, you know, kids with diabetes can come to Camp Kandu free of charge. I don’t want money to be a barrier to them learning and networking with other parents, so a lot of that comes free of charge because we care about their children,” McClain said.

“Mississippi needs this money to help promote a cure to help care for younger children who are being diagnosed at three, four years old, who need service animals to help them. It’s so important to raise money, raise awareness,” Ables said.

There will be other walks supporting patients with diabetes happening throughout the state until March 2024.

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