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Saint John residents walk to end Type 1 diabetes

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The summer months are often filled with events dedicated to raising money and awareness for various organizations. This month, “Sun Life’s Walk to Cure Diabetes” has been ongoing across the country for its 30th year.

On Sunday, Maritime cities got in on the fun with events being held in Saint John, Fredericton, and Moncton, as well as Sydney, N.S.

“I have Type 1 diabetes and I just want to find a cure for it,” says Carlee Scott, an elementary school student. “So I raised money to come do the walk with my best friend.”

“It really important for other kids with Type 1 to see others that are like themselves,” says event organizer Jen Cyr. “To represent ‘Oh this other person has Type 1’ so it’s not stigmatized.”

The Saint John, N.B., kicked-off at the Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal, where a brief opening included a warm-up led by Port City Elite. The over 50 participants then walked around the uptown core to raise awareness.

“I don’t think people realize the difference between Type 1 and Type 2,” says walker Jess Cormier. “It’s just a great community event to get everyone together and say ‘Hey, I’m the same as you.’”

Less than 10 per cent of those living with diabetes in Canada suffer from Type 1, which is an autoimmune disease unlike its Type 2 counterpart. Those suffering from the disease often include children.

“You have to go through a lot of stuff and people don’t really understand that,” Scott says. “Like that you have to take needles and all that and people don’t really understand that. They just think they have to wear something or take a needle once a day, when it’s really not that.”

Not only did Cyr help organize the walk, she also has a daughter who lives with Type 1.

“When she was first diagnosed I didn’t realize people went through all of the things that we’ve experienced,” details Cyr. “There’s a lot of times where you are up getting juice in the middle of the night or maybe give insulin because the blood sugar is too high. It’s just a lot of balancing. Lot of things effect blood sugar, so it’s always kind of bouncing around.”

The Saint John event raised over $12,500, about $7,000 shy of their fundraising goal. The good news is online donations can be made up until the end of 2023 on the Walk to Cure Diabetes website.

There is no known cure for either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, but with over $1.8 million raised nationwide this year alone, hopes are high that will change.

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