Walk To Cure Ben­e­fits Di­a­betes Re­search

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Lynn Kut­ter

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.

COUR­TESY PHOTO

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.

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