4 Red Striders Warm Up for Step Out
You've probably seen them: Red Striders are some of the folks with diabetes who participate in the American Diabetes Association's Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes®, an annual walk to raise diabetes funding and awareness. Red Striders are more than just fund-raiser participants: They are honored walkers, the very soul of Step Out. Every Red Strider's story is different. Here are just a few from the Washington, D.C., area.
Robin Dorsey, 35, of Fort Washington, Md.
Diabetes History and Management: Diagnosed with gestational diabetes six years ago and with type 2 diabetes shortly after the birth of her son. She manages her diabetes with metformin, multiple daily insulin injections, healthy eating, carbohydrate control, and exercise.
Message to Others: "You have to change the things that you do in order to live a long, productive life. And it's not easy, but that's what I want people to know: You can do it! I'm living proof."
Step Out Achievements: Registering more than 40 people to join her Step Out team, the GEM (Going the Extra Mile) Social Club, in 2012. The team has doubled its fund-raising efforts each year. "Before I had diabetes, my family had diabetes, so I started to pay attention a little more to what was going on with them," she says. "This is my life's mission right now."
Ethan Mitchell, 6, of Bristow, Va.
Message to Others: "If we both have diabetes … maybe we are the same, and we can walk together."
Step Out Achievements: Ethan's team (including dad, David; mom, Mary; and big sisters, Madison, 11, and Sarah, 9) raised nearly $2,000 for his first Step Out.
Tony Reyes, 65, of Woodbridge, Va.
Diabetes History and Management: Diagnosed with prediabetes almost 15 years ago, he now has type 2 diabetes. He manages his diabetes with metformin, portion control, and keeping a sharp eye on his carbohydrate consumption. Despite some osteoarthritis in his knee, Reyes walks on the golf course—and at Step Out.
Message to Others: "[When people walk,] they're helping support the research in helping to find a cure for diabetes. They can come out and have a great day of camaraderie. You meet people from all walks of life, who either have diabetes or know someone who does, who are out there walking to support this research and support those they love."
Step Out Achievements: A member of his local Lions Club, Reyes fostered collaboration between the Lions and the ADA to promote vision health and provide vision tests at his local Step Out event. Working together, the groups are able to promote awareness of retinopathy, a diabetes complication. "Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness. My father lost his sight to diabetes," Reyes says.
Joe Amatangelo, 49, of Annandale, Va.
Diabetes History and Management: Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1999. He takes multiple daily insulin injections (using a pen) and works out on an elliptical trainer and a resistance training machine.
Message to Others: "Everybody knows somebody that's battling this disease. It's running rampant. We just need some money to combat it, especially for the little kids that have it. It's just something that needs to be resolved—and the only way is do more research, and the only way [to fund research] is to raise more money."
Step Out Achievements: Raising $5,000 in 2011 and $6,000 in 2012. He hopes to raise $7,000 this year.