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‘Diabetes Sidekicks’ busts myths on campus

| Thursday, October 2, 2014

Saint Mary’s senior and co-president of the Saint Mary’s-Notre Dame Diabetes Support Group Becky Walker has made it her goal to dispel myths about diabetes on both campuses.

“There is a very popular myth about diabetes,” Walker said. “People think that you can develop diabetes by eating too much sugar, and that simply isn’t true. We’re here to raise awareness and hopefully dispel those myths.”

The consequences of diabetes personally affect Walker, as she deals with the condition of type 1 diabetes daily. The process of self-care includes checking blood sugar multiple times a day and administering her own shots, she said.

Walker said type 1 diabetes affects many students on both campuses, whether they have the condition or know someone who suffers from it.

“50 percent of Saint Mary’s students [are affected by] type 1 diabetes,” Walker said. “… There are the connections with roommates, friends and relatives.”

Though the organization is formally called the Diabetes Support Group, members affectionately refer to it as “Diabetes Sidekicks,” Walker said. It exists mostly as a resource for those on both campuses who suffer from type 1 diabetes.

“The goal of the club is to promote awareness about diabetes and participate in service work associated with the condition,” Walker said.

As part of its service work, the club participated in the Michiana Walk to Cure Diabetes on Sept. 14th.

“Seven of us went [on the walk],” Walker said. “We managed to raise $380 dollars, which is pretty good for seven people.”

As far as this year’s activities go, Walker said the club is looking forward to another walk, on which the members hope to bust even more myths about diabetes, and World Diabetes Day.

Walker said it is her job as co-president to handle the organization of meetings and activities, responsibilities which entail sending out e-mails for upcoming events and updating the “ND Diabetes Sidekicks” Facebook page.

“We are looking to possibly start up a Twitter account as well; however, that would have more diabetes-related information rather than club updates.”

For those looking to get involved, the group meets at 6 p.m. in South Dining Hall at Notre Dame every Sunday.

“I hope we can spread enough awareness this year to make sure it stays afloat,” Walker said.

The Diabetes Support Group can be reached at [email protected].

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