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May 24, 2016

A Run for Diabetes Awareness

The Second Annual Diabetic Run and Wellness Expo was held over the weekend in the west. Wellness Ambassadors in collaboration with the Belize Diabetic Association Belmopan Branch and Marathon runner Emil Pulido lead a twenty-three-mile run from Belmopan to the Palacio Farm on the Hummingbird Highway in an effort to bring awareness to the deadly disease – Diabetes. News Five’s Duane Moody was there and has this story.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Fewer than one hundred persons from different walks of life participated in a twenty-three mile run along the Hummingbird Highway—their common goal is to create awareness around one of the deadliest diseases in the country, diabetes. On Sunday morning, Belizean students and working-class persons gathered at the market in Belmopan for the Second Annual Diabetic Run and Wellness Expo in an effort to contribute to the prevention and elimination of this silent killer.

 

Mystery Darko

Mystery Darko, C.E.O., Youth for World Peace/Wellness Ambassadors

“For us diabetes is serious because for me, I have it from my mother and my father’s side and we lost my grandfather and when I returned home, my uncle, Barry Palacio almost lost his finger to diabetes—he was going to be amputated. And while dealing with him in the hospital, I realized they are feeding him meals that he is not supposed to eat. So I said what are youths doing in Belmopan to make a difference to make a change and since my career is in nursing, I said let me start to work with youths in the area. The funds we generated last year sustained our feeding program so every month, every third Sunday to be exact, we take ten diabetic meals, breakfast to the western regional hospital. So it came about from just doing that; being aware, getting the youths and making small changes within your community.”

 

Meggie Fang

The event was hosted by Youth for World Peace/Wellness Ambassadors, the Belize Diabetic Association Belmopan Branch and Marathon runner Emil Pulido, who along with several others ran the full length. The wellness ambassadors started the relay.

 

Meggie Fang, 16 year old Wellness Ambassador

“It’s always been a passion for us to help people and the more that we can help people, the better it is to make the Belizean society a better place for everyone. Everyone wants to be healthy and have longevity in life.”

 

Kimone Zuniga

Kimone Zuniga, 15 year old Wellness Ambassador

“Most of my family members have it and can have it, but once we work the right way to keep our bodies healthy, then we can stay away from that, and that’s what we are trying to change today.”

 

Both private and public sector agencies fielded teams and through a relay process, each team ran a mile and a baton is passed on to encourage participants to run. For a second year in a row, the Social Security Board is taking part in the event.

 

Luis Pena

Luis Pena, Social Security Board

“We’ve found it necessary to do this run because we support healthy living and there are a lot of people in this country that suffers from this diabetes; as you know it is what they call the silent killer. So what Social Security does is promote healthy living and as a result we are here participating. I have friends that suffer from diabetes; it’s a really terrible disease that’s out there and a lot of people have type two diabetes as well and this is the reason why this is a good initiative taken by the Diabetes Association.”

 

Michael Montero

Michael Montero, Employee Barrack Trading Center

“We’re here for the adventure, for the fun, for supporting our community. You know, diabetes is one of the number one killers here in Belize and it is a big thing. So we are just out here trying to support everything and Barrack Trading Center that’s how we are; we are about love and so that is the main thing for us.”

 

Duane Moody

“How many of you guys are out here?”

 

Michael Montero

“We have about twenty.”

 

Well-known youth advocate Dianne Finnegan also traveled to Belmopan to participate in the run. Promising to complete at least five miles along the stretch of highway, Finnegan persevered and did up to ten miles.

 

Dianne Finnegan

Dianne Finnegan, Supporter

“It’s about the cause and even though diabetes is not in my family and I am not diabetic, I just think that it is important to stand in solidarity with so many people who have lost the battle, who are diagnosed; individuals who are on a course of trying to change their eating habits, living a healthy lifestyle. I think it is crucial that we show the importance of changing our diet and living a healthy lifestyle so that we can live a longer life.”

 

The theme for this year’s event was “Diabetes Nah a Ketch Mi.” Duane Moody for News Five.

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