The Brentwood and Byron-Delta Lions clubs are teaming up to host the Lions Strides Walk for Diabetes Awareness on Saturday, April 6 at Creekside Park in Brentwood. Money raised during the event goes to a fund to send local children living with diabetes to a summer education camp in Santa Cruz, where they can learn about how to cope with their illness. The camp is operated by the Diabetes Society.
Event Chair Annette Seabury joined the Brentwood Lions Club after the funds raised by a previous Walk helped send her son, Quinn, to camp.
“My son was diagnosed with diabetes when he was 13, and it was a struggle for the whole family,” Seabury said. “There was so much we all had to learn, but it was especially difficult for Quinn because he felt so alone in his diagnosis because he didn’t know anyone his age who was diabetic. At camp, he met kids going through the same thing as him, and it completely changed his mindset. He’s much happier and healthier because of what he learned at camp.”
With fellow Lions Lynelle Russell and Diane Martin, Seabury is hoping for a big turnout for this year’s event, which is the Lions Club International’s regional event in Northern California.
To participate, walkers pay a registration fee of $25. Participants who form a team of five or more pay a discounted group fee of $100. The more the merrier. In a team of 10, each member kicks in only 10 bucks. Participants may register in advance or the day of the walk. Registration begins at 9 a.m.; the walk is scheduled to begin at 10.
“This is a relaxed 5K,” Seabury said. “We’re going to walk from Creekside Park along Marsh Creek Trail to Veterans Park. We do a lap around the park and then come back to Creekside. If you walk that twice, it’s about a 5K. It’s not a race. It’s about generating awareness.”
Teams and participants gathering at the park can browse tables set up to share information about juvenile diabetes. Healthy snacks will be available to fuel the walkers.
According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, approximately 15,000 children in the United States are diagnosed with Type I Diabetes each year. Type I Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas that regulate blood sugar levels. As a result, diabetics must monitor their blood sugar levels constantly and take multiple insulin shots every day to keep their body in balance. There is no cure for diabetes, and scientists are still unsure of its exact cause, despite the discovery of its genetic and environmental triggers. If unmanaged, diabetes can lead to blindness, nerve damage and heart disease.
“This is a really special event, and we’re proud to host the Lions Strides Walk in Brentwood,” said Brentwood Lions Club President Fred Ginsler. “Kids with diabetes have it rough. They have to watch what they eat and monitor their blood sugar; it can take the fun out of being a kid. But going to camp makes a dramatic impact on these kids. It encourages them to life a healthy lifestyle.”
Creekside Park is located at the corner of Claremont and Crescent drives in Brentwood. To learn more about the Lions Strides Walk for Diabetes Awareness, call Seabury at 925-642-3799 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.