Community walk raises money for diabetes prevention and treatment

ST. GEORGE – The Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund is putting on its sneakers with hopes of raising $56,000 to fund research to find better treatments, prevention methods and eventually a cure for the debilitating disease.

Jessica Thompson, 10, Type 1 diabetes sufferer and Hurricane resident, Hurricane, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of JDRF
Jessica Thompson, 10, Type 1 diabetes sufferer and Hurricane resident, Hurricane, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of JDRF

Type 1 diabetes and its numerous complications currently affect over three million Americans. One in three children born in the United States will develop diabetes, according to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet.

“With diabetes skyrocketing and over 175,000 Utahns living with this disease, our Walks to Cure Diabetes are now more important than ever,” said Laura Western, executive director of the JDRF Utah/Idaho Chapter. “Our $56,000 goal for Southern Utah may be ambitious, but attainable with a philanthropic community like ours who rally to support its people. The more money we raise, the more research we will be able to fund, hopefully with a cure in sight.”

Jessica Thompson, 10, is the daughter of Hurricane resident RoseAnn Thompson, who serves on the planning committee for the St. George walk. She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age seven and has struggled to live with the disease ever since.

“Our lives were changed forever with Jessica’s diagnosis,” RoseAnn Thompson said. “Diabetes affects every aspect of our life, every minute of every day. JDRF’s research has improved her life in many ways and that is why we help raise funds: For a better future and a long, healthy life.”

“Diabetes is a lot of work,” Jessica said. “My biggest wish is for a cure.”

The Thompson family will be joined by hundreds of walkers on April 13 at the Virgin River Trailhead in Confluence Park. Registration opens at 9 a.m. and the walk will begin at 10, following a ribbon cutting and remarks by Eric Leavitt of The Leavitt Group, one of the walk’s main sponsors. More information on the walk, including early registration can be found on the walk website.

Following the walk, a cookout lunch will be provided for all participants, along with carnival-style games, face painting and a bounce house for kids. All money raised will go towards the critical research being done to prevent, treat and cure Type 1 diabetes.

Event details and contact information

Date: April 13

Time: 9 a.m. registration opens, 10 a.m. walk starts

Location: Virgin River Trailhead, Confluence Park

Admission: Varies; see website

Contact: Stacey Bowen – 801-530-0660

Submitted by: Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund

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1 Comment

  • Lina April 3, 2013 at 7:35 am

    We need a cure! Jessica, it will never be easy but what you do now will make your life later so much better. Hang in there! And remember… You are not alone!

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