INDIANAPOLIS and GREENWOOD, Ind. - It's a disease that strikes kids and adults alike. In fact, diabetes kills more people in the U.S. each year than AIDS and breast cancer combined. We have the story of one Greenwood woman who will be one of 3,000 stepping out this weekend to stop it.
Erin Dunn-Vance laces up her shoes for a walk or a workout nearly every day.
"I get up in the morning and I do a strenuous workout about three times a week if not more," Dunn-Vance said.
But she wasn't always this healthy.
At just five years old, Erin was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Her parents gave her insulin shots until she learned how to do it herself. But eventually, Erin started to slack on her diabetes management.
"When I went out on my own, I totally just let things go. And that's where it went really bad. When I was 21 I had a heart attack, three weeks after my 21st birthday,” Dunn-Vance said. "That right there was a big enough of an eye opener that really forced me to start at least controlling my diabetes and not let it control me."
Now, she has an insulin pump and eats healthy in addition to exercising regularly. She's changed her life to make sure she's around to watch her two sons grow up.
And this weekend, she'll take part in the Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes (sponsored by RTV6) to help raise money and awareness of the disease that affects nearly 26 million Americans.
"There's probably not very many people you'll ever run into who aren't affected by diabetes in some way," she said.
If you'd like to walk with Erin and the thousands of others to help stop diabetes, you can register at the event the day of starting at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
The walk begins at noon at White River State Park. Each participant who raises $100 or more to support research, education and advocacy will get a free event T-shirt.
Last year, RTV6 was not only the media sponsor, but we were also proud to donate $6,000, which sent six kids to a special camp to learn how to manage their diabetes.