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‘Race for Control’ to spread diabetes awareness

Get ready to run for your life. Run for your sisters, mothers, fathers, your best friends and your grandparents. Just run for the lives of those affected by diabetes.

The UH American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists’ Operation Diabetes Initiative, partnering with the American Diabetes Association, will host its first annual Race for Control: 5K and Fitness Festival from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Aug. 30.

This event is free for all participants, whether they are running in the 5K or Family Fun Mile or just attending the Fitness Festival. All proceeds will benefit the ADA, whose goal is to raise $2,000 and have 300 people participate in the event.

A Fundraiser That’s Free?

The Race for Control is, again, free for all participants, despite the fact that it is a fundraiser. The ADA plans to secure funding through generous donations online and at the event as well as through raffle prizes and t-shirt sales offered at the Fitness Festival.

“Raising awareness is more important to us than securing donations. Here are a few statistics that show why we believe in helping people learn how to manage their diabetes. 29.1 million people (1 out of every 11 people) in the United States have diabetes, and a lot of us personally know some of them, and want to do something about it. Medical costs for diabetics are twice as high as for people without diabetes,” said APhA-ASP Operation Diabetes Co-Chair Stefanie Underwood.

Out of the 29.1 million people Underwood mentioned above, 1 out of 4 don’t know they have diabetes. 86 million people (more than 1 out of 3 adults) have prediabetes and 9 out of 10 of those people do not know they are prediabetic. Without intervention, 15 to 30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop Type 2 diabetes within five years.

Diabetics are also at risk for blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, strokes, and amputations. At least 1 out of 3 people will develop diabetes in their lifetime. At this time, 30 million children and adults suffer from diabetes in the United States. Of that number, nearly 95 percent have type 2. Underwood said about 73,000 non-traumatic lower-limb amputations were performed in adults 20 and older during 2010 due to diabetes. About 60 percent of all non-traumatic lower-limb amputations are done on people with diabetes. Diabetes remains the eighth leading cause of death in the United States as of 2012.

Educational opportunities abound at Race for Control. Vendors will offer services that promote diabetes awareness and self-care, educational information booths, and even free health screenings including BMI, blood glucose and diabetic foot exams.

“I have a family history of diabetes but have a limited knowledge about diabetes, which is why I am looking forward to this event where I can learn, find resources and take advantage of the screening. This event allows family and friends to get physically prepared for the 5K and learn more about diabetes, so if approached by others about it, we have the knowledge to discuss with them and share resources,” said runner Angela Hanks, who said she will run with her daughter Taylor Torjcak and close friend Ginger Pinske. Her other daughter, Ashley, is President of the APhA-ASP UH College of Pharmacy.

Two of the most recent vendors to sign on to Race for Control are Prima Pasta and Starbucks. Prima Pasta is giving out $10 gift certificates to the first 200 that arrive at the race, while Starbucks donated free coffee and cups to pass out on the day of the race.

“I think it just raises awareness for the whole community. It brings people together. I had heard there were some sponsors out there with some products that I had never heard about and so I am interested in seeing that. I’m pretty well off; I have great insurance, so all of my stuff is covered, but I think it’s a great way for the (College of Pharmacy) to be reaching out to the lower socioeconomic so they can get their blood tested and their feet checked. It’s even good for some people that may not even know they have diabetes,” said event participant Sandy Klein, who said she will attend with her husband. Sandy and her father both have diabetes.

For more information on this event or to register for it, head to its website or Facebook page.

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