Several Cleveland Elementary students and teachers made the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes Saturday in support of third-grader Kahtlyn Painter. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk was held at Veterans Park in Hoover.
Kahtlyn was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes a year ago after being admitted into ICU for severe stomach aches, excessive weight loss, and extreme thirst. Kahtlyn now copes with diabetes very well and counts carbohydrates daily to determine how much insulin she needs per meal/snack. Kahtlyn recently began receiving her insulin through a pump, which makes living with diabetes much easier for this young child.
Kahtyln and her family made the walk last year for the first time and received so much support from family and friends that they decided to walk again this year.
“We wanted to get involved and learn as much as we could about diabetes. We walk and raise money in hopes that someday there will be a cure,” said Kahtlyn’s mother, Cassie Painter.
Money raised during the event goes towards medical research and researchrelated education for diabetes. Nearly 30 of Kahtlyn’s family, friends, and teachers joined her team in the 5K Walk to show support for her and others who suffer of diabetes.
“I’ve supported the Walk to Cure Diabetes for many years, but this is the first time I have actually walked. It was amazing to see all the love and support for this cause, and I plan on walking again next year in support of Kahtlyn and others like her,” said Kahtlyn’s teacher Kristy Posey.
Not allowing her diabetes to interfere with her daily life, Kahtlyn enjoys the same activities as her friends. She plays softball for Team Xtreme and made allstars this year. Her team placed fifth among 16 teams.
“Kahtlyn is a very strong little girl and her support group of friends and their parents and teachers is absolutely amazing,” said her mother.
According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International website, type 1 diabetes affects as many as 3 million Americans, lasts a lifetime, and carries the constant threat of heart disease, stroke, blindness, amputation, and kidney failure. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes include extreme thirst, frequent urination, sudden vision changes, sugar in urine, sudden weight loss, drowsiness, and heavy breathing. For more information on Walk to Cure Diabetes or type 1 diabetes visit www.jdrf.org.