INDIANAPOLIS — Under sunny, clear skies with a crisp autumn chill in the air, more than 3,000 Hoosiers from across the state recently gathered to celebrate, walk, and raise funds to fight diabetes at the 22nd annual Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes benefiting the American Diabetes Association.
Participants took part in 5K and 2-mile walk events on the Central Canal, both starting and ending at Celebration Plaza in White River State Park in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. Organizers expect the event to raise more than $300,000, with funds still coming in. Final totals will be tallied about 30 days after the event.
“It was an incredible day for the movement to Stop Diabetes,” said Jennifer Pferrer, executive director for the American Diabetes Association — Indiana Area. “The energy, excitement, and momentum of our walkers and volunteers were truly inspiring. Thank you to thank all of our participants, our hard-working volunteers, our dedicated sponsors, and the many donors who so generously supported our walkers to help stop diabetes. We’re on track for a record-setting year and the funds we have raised will have an important impact on diabetes research, education, and advocacy right here in Indiana.”
Step Out is the American Diabetes Association’s signature fundraising walk. This year’s event featured a host of activities to entertain and engage participants, including free fitness classes in Tai Chi and Zumba. Festivities included special appearances by RTV6 Chief Meteorologist Kevin Gregory, B105.7 FM morning show host Ann Richards, and Speedway High School.
The event also featured a performance by Rory Connelly, Silly Safari’s, the band Current Situation, plus the Meijer Health Pavilion, a children’s fitness zone, diabetes supplies and education, and healthy snacks. Celebration Plaza provided panoramic views of downtown Indianapolis, the White River, and the Central Canal.
The day’s celebration focused largely on the Red Striders in attendance — children and adults walking in Step Out with type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes. More than 200 Red Striders registered to participate, with many other people walking to support them in their symbolic journey with diabetes as they walked along the canal. Participants who raised at least $100 to support the American Diabetes Association earned an event T-shirt.
Diabetes is a chronic disease with no cure and can manifest itself in multiple forms. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that strikes suddenly and has no cure, while many people can go years without knowing they have type 2 diabetes — the most prevalent form of the disease. Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy and raises a woman’s risk for type 2 diabetes later in life.
Complications of all forms of diabetes can be sudden and devastating, including heart attacks, strokes, going blind, developing kidney disease, or losing a limb.
More than 714,000 Hoosiers have diabetes today, including type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Another 1.6 million more Hoosiers are at high risk.
For more information on the American Diabetes Association, call (800) 342-2383 or visit the website at diabetes.org.