Diabetes walk attracts hundreds

The whistles that kept breaking out at Guelph Lake Conservation Area Sunday morning were greeted with hearty cheers.

Every time a whistle blew it meant that somebody had registered for the Telus Walk to Cure Diabetes with at least $1,000 in pledges to go towards the fight against Juvenile Diabetes.

About 300 participants took advantage of a great cause and some great weather to walk a five-kilometre loop at Guelph Lake Conservation Area.

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One of those was nine-year-old Alex Tout, who showed up with about 40 family, friends and hockey teammates to take part in the event.

Tout was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when he was two years old.

???It doesn??™t slow me down,??? said the Grade 4 Sir Isaac Brock Public School student. ???You just learn how to live with it.

The turnout put a smile on his face.

???I feel really good when I see everyone out here like this because everyone is raising money for the cure,??? Tout said.

Bob Mason, whose son Julian has Juvenile Diabetes, is one of those motivated by advances in research on the disease.

???For this to be so close ??” they??™re saying within 10 years there will be a closed insulin pump that will do everything for you ??” is fantastic. Highly motivating,??? Mason said.

Organizer Margot Fitzpatrick said there is no problem getting a good turnout for the worthy cause.

???This is our eighth year in Guelph and we are hoping to have around 350 people out and raise about $55,000,??? said Fitzpatrick.

She said most of those taking part were longtime supporters of the event, with most of them having been touched by Diabetes in some way.

There were also some corporate teams that came on board for the cause.

Last year the event raised $53,000.

???Our research into a cure for Diabetes is so exciting and close that we don??™t have a problem getting people excited about fundraising,??? said Fitzpatrick, pointing to clinical studies currently being conducted in the area towards finding a cure for Juvenile Diabetes.

More than three million Canadians suffer from some form of diabetes, with 300,000 having type 1 Diabetes, the most serious form.

Also on hand Sunday was Guelph??™s Charlie Barnes, who was looking to drum up support for a bike ride across Canada that will raise money for diabetes research later this summer.

Barnes and his 15-year-old grandson Geoffrey will be riding in the event together.

The bike ride will feature a tandem bike used the entire trip, with a rider on front and someone with diabetes on the second half of the bike taking turns for different legs of the ride.

Mercury staff

May 31, 10 • Diabetes Support Blog