Students gathered Nov. 17 at Ortmayer Stadium to join a fundraiser Walk for Diabetes, an event put together by Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Sigma Kappa. Among the crowd were sophomore Jackie Steele and senior Derek Chacon, students from La Verne who wanted to run for the cause. There are 20.8 million people in the US who have diabetes, a disease caused by the body’s failure to produce insulin. About 6.2 million people are not aware that they have this disease.
About 70 people came out to show their support on the morning of Nov. 17 at the Walk for Diabetes. Students, faculty and friends walked around the track to spread awareness and raise money for diabetes.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Sigma Kappa came together to host the Walk for Diabetes held at Ortmayer Stadium.
Derek Chacon and Jackie Steele, the philanthropy chairs for their organizations, were responsible for planning and hosting the event.
The planning started almost two months ago.
“We decided to do a diabetic event because a Sigma Alpha Epsilon brother and a Sigma Kappa sister have diabetes and we thought it hit home,” Chacon said.
For Steele it was not just the fact that one of her sorority sisters has diabetes but because it is in her family as well.
“We are all affected by it,” Steele said. “A lot of people in my family deal with it.”
According to the American Diabetes Association, 20.8 million children and adults in the United States suffer from diabetes. While around 14.6 million people have been diagnosed, 6.2 million people are not aware that they have this disease.
John Lejay is one of many who are personally affected by diabetes and appreciated the support that the organizations were providing with this event.
“It’s good to know we have support from organizations and the school,” Lejay, a sophomore art and communications major said. “No matter what disease it is, its important to find a cure.”
Students were entertained on behalf of KULV, where the hosts present were taking requests and playing music to keep everyone pumped as they walked.
The hosts of the event raffled off prizes to those who were walking, just as a thank you for their support.
Not just fraternity and sorority members participated that day. Tyler Cantu, a freshman undeclared major, came out to walk and support someone close to him.
“My friend’s dad had a diabetic stroke so it made me want to come out and support. He is like a second dad to me,” Cantu said.
Jennifer Bilimoria, a marriage and family therapy graduate student, did her part that day by walking as well as showing her support for her Sigma Kappa sisters.
“I think doing philanthropy work is interesting and it’s a good cause,” Bilimoria said. “We know we can make a difference, even if we raise a little. It’s something everyone around the world deals with.”
Everyone who participated did their share by walking as many laps as they could.
There was no minimum or limit of how much participants had to walk.
Bradley Fong, vice president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, walked the most with a total of 40 laps, the equivalent of 10 miles.
All proceeds from the walk benefit the American Diabetes Association.
“I think it went really well. People that can donate did,” Steele said.
LeJay agreed and hopes that each year the walk gets bigger and more people participate.
“Maybe next year it can be a big all-Greek thing,” Lejay said.
Diana Zarate can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.