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Oxford’s Walk for Diabetes event to be held on November 5

By Allen Brewer

EAGLE Contributor

After enjoying a week of Halloween treats, locals can walk off those extra calories by raising money for diabetes prevention.

The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi is sponsoring its 21st annual fundraiser, “Mississippi Walking for Diabetes,” on Nov. 5 to kick off National Diabetes Awareness Month.

The event will begin at 1 p.m. in the Lyceum Loop on the Ole Miss campus.

“Almost 1 in 5 Mississippians have diabetes,” Anna Marie Liles, Ph.D., Clinical Director at the UM Pharmacy Health Services which is partnering with the Diabetes Foundation this year, said. “This includes students, employees and families.”

The event will host a one-mile “family fun walk” and a 5K/3.1 mile route. Registration for the walks starts at 1 p.m. and the ribbon cutting will be at 2 p.m.

Participants are encouraged to come early to enjoy extra activities such as a T-shirt judging competition and other kid-friendly activities.

The theme of this year’s event is Mardi Gras and attendees are allowed to decorate their child’s strollers as floats and put pets in costumes.

This year’s fundraiser will honor the “Kandu Kids,” children diagnosed with diabetes who attend Camp Kandu. This camp is the only diabetes camp in North Mississippi and offers information about diabetes to caregivers while providing fun activities for the children.

“Diabetes is 24/7 and our kids are amazing — they don’t let diabetes get in their way of pursuing their dreams and goals in life,” Irena McClain, associate director of the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi, said.

The minimum donation suggested to participate in the walk is $25. Those who donate $50 or more will receive a specially designed T-shirt. Extra incentives will be available to those that donate $100 or more.

Every dollar raised from the walks will go toward local treatments in Mississippi.

“I have seen this event have a big effect, especially on the kids,” McClain said. “Some of these children are the only kids in their school with diabetes. When they come to this event and see other kids having to take their blood sugar, it makes them feel like they are not alone.”

Participants can register in person at 1:00 p.m at the event, by calling 601-957-7878 or online at www.msdiabetes.org.