Tuesday, May 21, 2013

"Wildwood Walks" Raises $119,000 for Type 1 Diabetes Research

Final tally could more than double projected goal

More than 3,000 people strode the Wildwoods Boardwalk Saturday morning, May 18, in support of 29 million Americans with Type 1 diabetes.

The 2013 Walk to Cure Diabetes raised $119,000, well above the initial goal of $65,000, said Michael Block, co-chairman of the South Jersey Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). A final tally could more than double the projected goal.

“We’re thrilled,” Block said. “Seeing this many people is like a battery charge for me.”

“The City of Wildwood has been so generous to the JDRF,” added co-chair Kathleen Bianco. “From our first meeting with City officials, we agreed that Wildwood was where we wanted to hold this walk.”

Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano, who walked the 3-mile oceanfront route with his wife Donna, was gratified by the turnout. “It’s safe to say everyone knows somebody who has diabetes; this brings awareness to the disease and hopefully, someday there will a cure,” said Troiano. “We’re extremely proud to be able to host this.”

“Insulin is not a cure,” said10-year-old Jennifer of Gloucester County, diagnosed with the condition in 2010. Accompanied by her support team, Jennifer Rocks, she took the stage with an emotional Jack Morey, of Morey’s Piers, who revealed to participants he has suffered with the disease for 47 years.

“This is really overwhelming,” said Morey, looking out at the crowd gathered at Morey’s Adventure Pier. “I just never thought there would be this many people here, and I appreciate it.”

Each year, JDRF Walks are held in more than 200 cities worldwide, raising money to fund research and education with the goal of finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes.

The debilitating disease strikes children suddenly and makes them dependent on injected or pumped insulin for life. Despite advances in treatment, the condition can cause kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke, and amputation, and costs the United States more than $174 billion in health care each year.

The JDRF contributes more than 80 cents from every dollar raised to medical research and education, and was named one of Forbes’ Top 5 All-Star Charities in 2012.

Donations are still being taken and will be added to the final tally. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.jdrf.org.

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