Diabetes fundraiser kicks off today

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It’s a staggering statistic – nearly 1 in every 300 children will be diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.

At Opp Elementary School, there are three students out of the 549 students who live with the disease.

One of those is 9-year-old Chandler Weeks, who was diagnosed shortly after his second birthday.

Now, Weeks’ mom, Beth Lewis, is organizing a campaign to raise money for juvenile diabetes research and OES. OES will receive 10 percent of the funds raised, and 90 percent will go to the research.

“We went to Tampa to a walk for juvenile diabetes,” she said. “I had been thinking that there is something we can do in Opp, and we decided to have a ‘Kids Walk to a Cure.’”

“We want to educate the kids about juvenile diabetes,” she said. “We want kids and parents to know the signs and what all goes into having this. For example, Chandler gets five shots a day or 35 shots per week. We want to let them know.”

In order to raise money, Kids Walk to a Cure T-shirts will be sold.

Sizes youth XS to adult XL are $12 each, and adult 2XL and 4XL are $14 each. T-shirts are sky blue and must be ordered by April 26.

Additionally, Lewis said they will also sell JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) sneakers starting Monday.

“People can donate money and they sign the shoe,” Lewis said. “The kids will turn in their shoes and the SGA will stick shoes up around school. Our theme is ‘help boot out juvenile diabetes.’ Kids will also bring change and will receive some sort of an award.”

Another element of the fundraiser will include the OES counselor and principal, Brett Kinsaul wearing pedometers the day of the walk.

The fundraiser will kick off today at 8:15 a.m. during the students’ PE classes, and will culminate May 10.

“We will expand the PE times to an hour,” Lewis said. “We are inviting parents and the community to join the students.”

The run will last until at least 2:15 p.m. today.