Diabetes walk brings Greeks together

by Kelsey Christianson

“I will” walk to cure diabetes. “I will” do my part. The message on the orange bracelets, “I WILL,” was acted out by 93 members of the Simpson College Greek community as they walked in the Greater Iowa Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s annual Walk to Cure Diabetes on March 5.

The walk started in the Polk County Convention Complex in Des Moines at 10 a.m. and finished there later in the day. Each participant walked a total of 4.5 kilometers through the downtown Des Moines Skywalk.

Junior Shani Blair, Community Service Panhellenic officer, was a leader in organizing the Greek participation in the event.

“We have members of the Greek community with diabetes, so we’ve got a personal attachment to it,” Blair said.

Over $1,200 was raised and donated by members of the Simpson Greek community to the JDRF to fund research that will search for cures for the millions of people with diabetes.

According to Blair, about $400 was raised in BSC selling bracelets and paper shoes. The rest of the money was raised individually through donations.

Sophomore Cassie Huff, Panhellenic Delegate from Pi Beta Phi, said the Greater Iowa Chapter’s Walk to Cure Diabetes brings one of the largest participant numbers out of all the JDRF walks in the country.

Huff, who has a personal connection to the disease, brought the idea to Panhellenic Council.

“I’m diabetic and I want a cure,” Huff said. “The more money raised, the easier it is to find one through research.”

Huff was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on Dec. 19, 2002, at the age of 17. This was her second time participating in the walk.

According to the JDRF Web site, the Walk to Cure Diabetes is held in more than 200 locations throughout the year. Almost 1.5 million Americans have Type 1 diabetes, and diabetes kills one American every three minutes.

Freshman Zach Rus of Sigma Alpha Epsilon thought it was the least he could do to participate in the walk.

“It was great to see all the Greek houses come together for a common goal,” Rus said.

Seven of the eight Greek chapters on campus participated in the walk.

“It’s doesn’t happen a lot when we all come together for one cause,” Blair said. “When we do, we have so much power and we can accomplish a lot.”