South Florida Families Step Up for a Diabetes Cure at the PEP Walk

(February 13, 2019) Hollywood, Florida – Hundreds will join the PEP Walk & Family Fun Day, Sponsored by Walgreens, in support of the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) and its mission of finding a cure for diabetes. To be held at T.Y. (Topeekeegee) Park on Saturday, March 2, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. to noon, this fun family event is being hosted by the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation’s PEP Squad, which stands for Parents Empowering Parents.

“It’s all about the families! People from all walks of life come together in support of this common cause every year,” said Tom Karlya, Senior Vice President of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. “With Walgreens and the tremendous support of the community, this event has become a driving force for the DRI. Together, we will continue to make strides toward curing diabetes.”

Along with the walk, attendees will also enjoy free activities and live entertainment, including appearances by the 501st Legion Star Wars characters, face painting, giveaways, bounce houses, health booths and much more.

This community-driven event is a collaborative effort between the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation and Walgreens, who have partnered since its inception nine years ago and together have raised more than $2 million thanks to the support of individuals, teams of families affected by diabetes, company teams, Walgreens associates, customers, and volunteers, as well as corporate and media partners.

“We’re proud to sponsor such a wonderful event that raises health awareness and has helped to raise funds to support those living with diabetes,” said Georgia Lehoczky, regional healthcare director at Walgreens.

Registration will open at 8:30 a.m. with the PEP Walk kicking off at 9 a.m. and the family fun activities continuing through noon. While the walkathon and activities are FREE to enjoy, individuals and families are encouraged to raise funds for the cause through this easy-to-use website: For more information, call 1-800-321-3437.

Corporate partners to date include Walgreens, Total Diabetes, Outfront Media, Whole Foods Market, DancingForDiabetes, Del Monte Fresh Produce, Honeytree, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, Sinless Treats,, Miracle Noodle, and Omnipod. The DRI Foundation is actively seeking support from participants, corporate partners, sponsors, and volunteers.

About the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) and Foundation:
The mission of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation is to provide the Diabetes Research Institute with the funding necessary to cure diabetes now. The Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine leads the world in cure-focused research. As one of the largest and most comprehensive research centers dedicated to curing diabetes, the DRI is aggressively working to develop a biological cure by restoring natural insulin production and normalizing blood sugar levels without imposing other risks. Researchers have already shown that transplanted islet cells allow patients to live without the need for insulin therapy. Some study participants have maintained insulin independence for more than 10 years. The DRI is now building upon these promising outcomes through its BioHub strategy, a multidisciplinary, three-pronged approach for addressing the major challenges that stand in the way of a cure: eliminate the need for anti-rejection drugs, reset the immune system to block autoimmunity, and develop an unlimited supply of insulin-producing cells. For more information, please visit or call 800-321-3437.

Media Contact: Yashie Vindell / 954.964.4040

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