700 Step Out in Canfield today to fight diabetes
By ELISE McKEOWN SKOLNICK
The arts and crafts building at the fairgrounds was full today, but there wasn’t a craft in sight.
Instead, music was playing, kids were having their faces painted, and about 700 people were registering for the Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes.
The Step Out Walk is the American Diabetes Association’s largest signature event, said Jill Pupa, executive director of the American Diabetes Association in Northeast Ohio.
Step Out events take place throughout the country during October.
“It’s a fundraiser, but it’s also a day to celebrate and recognize those that live with diabetes and their day-to-day struggles,” Pupa said. “That’s really the reason why we’re here, to really recognize what it takes to live with this chronic, systemic, potentially fatal disease day in and day out. There’s no vacation from diabetes.”
At Sunday’s event, vendors passed out water bottles and tote bags, as well as information. Refreshments were available. Many participants walked dogs or pushed children in strollers.
Most sported T-shirts announcing they were “team” members for a loved one with diabetes. Others displayed stickers that said, “I’m walking for…” They filled in the name of a loved one with the disease.
Mindy Test, of Niles, and Amber Brode, of Austintown, wore T-shirts that announced they were part of “Team Emily.” The pair walked to support a co-worker’s 5-year-old daughter who is living with Type I diabetes.
This was their first time participating in the walk.
It’s important to raise awareness about diabetes, Test said.