Several Local communitites Unite at Walk-A-Thon to Benefit the Diabetes Research Institute

Zachary Treese was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 3 years old.

Duncansville, PA (April 2009) — Team Zachary. That’s what they call themselves – the more than 30 family members and close friends of 5-year-old Zachary Treese, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was just 3.

Passionate and committed, the group will be walking their way toward a cure for diabetes at the second annual Walk-A-Thon for Diabetes Research.

Spearheaded by Zach’s mom, Lisa Treese of Duncansville, PA, the diabetes walk-a-thon will be held at Foot of Ten Elementary on Saturday, May 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For the 2009 fundraiser, Treese has designated the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI), a center of excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, as the new beneficiary of her efforts.

There’s not much a mother wouldn’t do for her child. But when her youngest of three boys was faced with a life-altering and devastating disease, Treese brought new meaning to those words.

“When Zach was first diagnosed, I didn’t sleep at all. His blood sugar went low all the time, and I was constantly testing him through the night,” said Treese.

It was during those sleepless nights that she found herself searching the Internet to learn more about the most promising, cure-focused diabetes research and to find a network of support from other parents who were just like her. She found both at the Diabetes Research Institute and Foundation.

“I wanted my money to go to research, and I knew that’s what the Diabetes Research Institute was all about. But mostly, it was the people at the DRI Foundation who really cared about me and my family, and they didn’t even know us.

“That emotional support was just what I was looking for, and I knew this was the organization I wanted to be associated with,” Treese explained. 

For the past six months, Treese and her husband, Craig, have been reaching out to the community, calling in favors, and channeling all their efforts into the diabetes walk-a-thon, which is the culminating event of a full week of diabetes education activities at the elementary school.

The day will start with a warm-up by Snap Fitness and will also feature a balloon release, musical entertainment, face-painting, a silent auction and raffle, plus basketball, hoola hoops, jump ropes and more. Attendees will also get to meet and walk side-by-side with the Pittsburgh Panthers Women’s Basketball Team of the University of Pittsburgh.

“It’s a day to enjoy playing and exercising outdoors while raising funds and awareness for diabetes,” said Treese, a pre-school teacher whose positivity is infectious.

Filled with hope for her son and the millions of children and adults affected by diabetes, Treese will continue her tireless efforts on behalf of the Diabetes Research Institute until a cure is found.

The Walk-A-Thon for Diabetes Research will be held at Foot of Ten Elementary, located on Foot of Ten Road in the Hollidaysburg Area School District, but participants do not need to be students at the school to join in the fun. Families from several local communities, including Altoona, State College and Pittsburgh, will be attending. Many people will participate in the diabetes walk-a-thon as a team or on their own.

Special thanks is extended to top sponsor Stiffler-McGraw, and supporting sponsors US Foodservice, Dr. Chris Lance, CrossRoads Physical Therapy, Chili’s, Macy’s and Friendly’s Ice Cream.

About the Diabetes Research Institute and DRI 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, a center of excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is a recognized world leader in cure-focused research.

Since its inception in the early 1970s, the DRI has made significant contributions to the field of diabetes research, pioneering many of the techniques used in islet transplantation.

The DRI is now building upon these achievements by bridging cell-based therapies with emerging technologies to restore insulin production. For the millions of families already affected by diabetes, the Diabetes Research Institute is the best hope for a cure. For more information, contact 1.800.321.3437.

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