Champion Walkers Raise at Least $1,000
The American Diabetes Association’s annual walking event has always been about community. Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes®, held in more than 100 locations annually, brings together people from all walks of life to fight diabetes and celebrate the people who live with it.
Jeffery and Rosalind Chavis, of Olney, Maryland, are two of those people. Jeff, 54, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 11 years ago. He manages it with exercise, oral medication, and diet. He’s been a Red Strider—a person with diabetes who walks in Step Out—for nearly that entire time. His wife, Roz, 53, has always joined him, first as a supporter, and then as a Red Strider when she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes three years ago. She manages her diabetes with a diet of lower glycemic foods, exercise, and oral medication.
Step Out is a priority for the Chavis family, so much so that they have become Champions, walkers who raise $1,000 or more for their event. What may seem like a daunting task isn’t so tough for Jeff, who approaches fund-raising from two angles: He starts early and he shares his story. That personal touch can motivate people to help.
Jeff is genetically prone to diabetes but he did not know this until he was diagnosed and asked his mother for a family medical history. “Every one of my father’s brothers and sisters had either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and that’s 11 of them,” he says. It was important to Jeff to share that story so others would be aware of the role family heritage plays in diabetes.
These two Red Striders inspire their friends and family to donate or to join their walk team. And that’s an important part of the event, says Roz. She says as much participation as possible will help raise money, awareness, and people’s focus on the issue of diabetes. “We’ll have the funds to do the research and get a cure out there somehow,” she says.
Feeling motivated? Find a Step Out event near you, sign up, and start a team by visiting diabetes.org/stepout.