The biggest Keller School Walk for Diabetes is one for the record books.
The event March 29 at Keller ISD Stadium raised more than $73,000 for the American Diabetes Association and had more than 1,500 participants. Several months ago, Keller received an award for having the most successful School Walk for Diabetes in the nation for the 2013 walk which raised $44,000.
Deborah Gregor, event organizer and Keller High nurse, said the inclusion of the Lifestyle Improvement Challenge, the NFL Punt, Pass and Kick competition, Dallas Sidekicks’ soccer clinic and Buick’s Test Drive for Students drew high attendance.
“A lot of people came for those events and decided to stay and walk. It was jam packed,” Gregor said.
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One of the biggest fundraisers for the diabetes walk was Bette Perot Elementary third grader Gabe Bailey and his family. The Baileys raised more than $5,000 from family and friends.
For Gabe, parents Bill and Chrissy and brother Logan, a seventh grader at Timberview Middle School, finding a cure and raising awareness for diabetes is personal.
Last March, Gabe was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. In just a few weeks, he and his family raised $3,200 for the 2013 walk.
Chrissy Bailey said that the family knew very little about diabetes before the diagnosis.
“You hear about someone with diabetes and think they don’t eat sugar, but it’s really about having a shot before every meal and counting all the carbs,” Chrissy Bailey said. “Even it you do everything right, it’s still going to fluctuate. It’s a big burden for a child.”
Bill Bailey said the family raises money and participates in the School Walk for Diabetes because they want a better future for Gabe.
“I’m convinced there will be a cure during his lifetime or something that makes management easier. It’s tough to see your child suffer and struggle,” Bill Bailey said. “We want to find a way to make their lives easier.”
Gabe said he walks because he looks forward to a cure, and “I won’t have to have diabetes.”