» By CHRIS COPPEDGE – ccoppedge@my.apsu.edu

APSU is participating in the American Diabetes Association’s annual “Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes” fundraiser with its own team for the first time, thanks to Campus Police. The fundraiser is coming to Nashville’s Centennial Park on Saturday, Nov. 12.

“The ADA needed a team of walkers from our campus, and I wanted to form one,” said Sgt. Georganna from Genthner Campus Police crime prevention unit, who has Type 1 diabetes.

The Step Out fundraiser is the ADA’s signature event.

The event is held nationwide at 130 different locations in over 40 states and 130,000 walkers, with sponsorship and corporate teams as additional support. Annually, the fundraiser raises at least $20 million for the education, advocacy and research of diabetes.

Genthner is quite passionate about the cause.

“APSU needs to support events and programs like this, so we’re trying to make people aware of the problem,” Genthner. said “I’ve met a lot of students who ask me about my pump, and most of them say that it’s great to know someone else shares their problem.”

She also thinks a support group for diabetic students should be created on campus. “Many of the diabetic students I’ve met want to try and start a support group so people don’t have to feel alone,” Genthner said. “It’s a problem the campus needs to acknowledge so they can help our students.”

“Being a diabetic on this campus kind of sucks,” said student George Edwards, who has Type 2 diabetes. “They really don’t cater to diabetics with their food choices, and I’m honestly concerned about other diabetic students because of it.”

Still, Edwards agrees raising awareness through the walk is a good thing.

“I’ve never done the diabetes walk myself, and I’m not really an activist about it since I’ve grown used to it,” Edwards said. “That being said, I do appreciate that the campus is participating in the walk.”

According to the ADA’s website, the association’s main goals are to inform people about diabetes with clear, objective information, to give voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes, and to prevent, manage and eventually cure the disease. Walking serves as a good fundraiser because it helps control blood glucose levels in diabetics, and can help prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes in people who are at risk of getting it.

There are two types of diabetes. According to the ADA website, Type 1 diabetes occurs when the human body fails to produce insulin, a hormone that unlocks the body’s cells and allows glucose to enter and fuel them.

According to the APA, Type 1 diabetes patients are dependent on regular injections of insulin in order to properly function. This is true for Genthner, who carries a pink insulin pump around with her. Only about five percent of the 25.8 million Americans with diabetes have Type 1.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body encounters insulin resistance, or the failure to use insulin properly, combined with a relative deficiency of the hormone.

This kind of diabetes can be controlled with a strict diet and exercise and is the most common type of diabetes amongst adults, making up 95 percent of America’s diabetic population. TAS