February 24, 2018 03:14 PM
More than 20,000 people joined in on the JDRF One Walk at Mall of America on Saturday in the fight against type 1 diabetes.
Organizers announced they raised more than $1.5 million this year.
Organizers also said it's a disease an estimated 40,000 Americans are diagnosed with every year, including both adults and children.
"I want a cure for myself and I also want a cure for everyone else with my same problem, because I know how it feels to them," 2018 JDRF One Walk Youth Ambassador Amelia Wagner said.
Wagner is just 10-years-old.
"It's my 10th year and I've been at this ever since I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 8 months old," Wagner said.
Teams at the mall walked to support a cure for the autoimmune disease impacts 1.25 million Americans. It can strike without warning, putting them at risk for heart disease.
"When you first get this diagnosis, your life changes and you need help," KSTP Morning Anchor Chris Egert said.
Egert emceed the event. His son, Dakota, has type 1 diabetes. Egert said those with diabetes must constantly monitor blood-sugar levels, rely on insulin and carefully monitor eating and activity.
"Essentially the type 1 diabetes is eating away at them from the inside for their entire lives unless they can manage that blood sugar level to a perfect level," Egert said.
That's why money is needed for not only a cure, but treatment.
"We work hard every day to help our members feel better and live well," said Prime Therapeutics' Erin Feigal.
"It's all about hope today; it's hope for those technologies and hope for the future of a cure when we're not having to talk about people living with type 1," JDRF Executive Director Karen Abrahamson said.
Each step is progress, and this community is not backing down from this disease.
"These families work through so many challenges every single day, but events like this give us hope," said Ameila's father, Mark Wagner.
For those who couldn't make the walk but would like to help towards the cause, click here.
Updated: February 24, 2018 03:14 PM
Created: February 24, 2018 11:10 AM
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