Walk To Cure Benefits Diabetes Research
FARMINGTON — Farmington’s annual Walk to Cure Diabetes will celebrate its 13th year on Saturday, Sept. 16, and the community continues to come out to raise money to help find a cure for Type 1 diabetes.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. in the vacant property next to the former Marvin’s IGA building on Cimarron Place. The walk will start at 9 a.m. Participants will walk down Southwinds Drive to Farmington United Methodist Church and then return to their starting point, a total of about 1.4 miles.
Last year the Walk raised about $22,000. The goal for 2017 is $25,000. Northwest Arkansas Collision Center is the presenting sponsor, with another 14 other organizations participating as sponsors.
This is the third year Stephanie Lovell of Farmington and her family have coordinated Farmington’s Walk to Cure. Her son, Beau, was diagnosed with the life-long disease three years ago.
When Beau was first diagnosed, Lovell said she remembers feeling overwhelmed and thinking, “How do you figure it out?”
They spent three days at Arkansas Children’s Hospital learning how to live with Type 1 diabetes as
a family. When they left the hospital, Lovell said the first three days felt like an eternity.
“Now, I think, wow, it’s been three years. It’s a matter of education and being around other Type 1’s. We’ve made it a huge point to get to know others with Type 1 diabetes,” she said.
Lovell said she continues to be amazed at the advancements in research and technology to help those living with Type 1 diabetes.
Beau started out giving himself shots of insulin when he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as an 8 year old.
Now, Beau uses a wireless system called an Omnipod Insulin Management System. It has two pieces: a Pod that attaches to the body with adhesive and a handheld Personal Diabetes Manager that looks like a cellphone.
A needle from the POD goes into his body to make a hole. The needle retracts and a tiny hose is inserted into its place to provide insulin.
Beau keeps track of his carbohydrates and blood sugar level so he can use the personal device to communicate with the Pod on how much insulin to deliver to his body.
Every three days, he adds more insulin to the Pod and moves it to a different place on his body.
Lovell said they chose to use a wireless system so that Beau can wear it during physical activities. His favorite sport is basketball and he also likes to hunt, fish and ride four-wheelers.
Lovell said Type 1 diabetes isn’t a disease where a person cannot have any sugar. She noted, though, that Beau is her child who loves carbohydrates, such as potatoes and bread.
“We have to limit those but really a healthy person shouldn’t eat all those carbs anyway,” she said, adding, “We feed him just like a healthy child.”
Money raised from Farmington’s Walk to Cure goes to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The family is involved with the foundation and its events to raise money for research or to promote awareness of the disease.
Beau is in his second year as a JDRF ambassador and goes to events to tell his story in a positive light.
Beau said he explains Type 1 diabetes to his friends and others by telling them his pancreas doesn’t work anymore.
“I have to physically do that myself,” Beau said. “I try to explain that I can still have sugar.”
As part of the Walk to Cure, Sonic will provide a small breakfast for participants and raffle items and a silent auction will be available after the walk. Children will be able to play in an inflatable bounce house also.
Beau Lovell has Type 1 diabetes and hopes one day there will be a cure for the disease. His mom, Stephanie, coordinates Saturday’s Farmington Walk To Cure Diabetes.