NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Type 1 diabetes doesn’t have a cure — and that’s what keeps a group of walkers coming back year after year to raise money.
On Sunday, people with the disease told CBS2’s Clark Fouraker the walk proves why continued work is needed.
Everyone walking had a story of fighting Type 1 diabetes themselves or supporting someone who does.
“We have like 23 or 24 people walking. And it’s every year, it’s the same thing,” Joan Torrente said.
Torrente walked for her niece, Monica, who has lived with Type 1 diabetes for the past 33 years. The disease requires people to self administer insulin that’s naturally occurring in most people.
“Every day you wake up, you have to test yourself, you have to watch yourself, you have to do that, but if you’ve got wonderful people behind you, it all makes it better,” said Monica Markowitz of Glendale, Queens.
“It’s an autoimmune disorder. You do nothing to cause it,” outreach volunteer Gail Whelan said. “As we stand here today, there’s no cure for it. What we’re doing today is raising money to find a cure and raising awareness so people understand the symptoms.”
MORE: JDRF Walk New York
You could tell who each team was walking for based on the jerseys they were wearing. The shirts matched and kept them together on the more-than-3-mile walk, Fouraker reported.
Lanelle Canagada supported friend Alana McKeon, who was diagnosed seven years ago. The walk, sponsored by JDRF, a leading advocacy organization, is one of three in the city that will raise an estimated $3 million.
“We love to support the cause because she’s a strong woman,” Canagada said.
“I’ve been working hard at it, trying to control it every single day for the past seven years,” McKeon added.
Those walking with the disease said the event helps them feel not alone and empowers them to keep working for a cure.