21 million Americans are living with diabetes and about six million of those people don't even know they have the disease.
Meanwhile, more and more children are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and experts say the reason is very controllable.
"Type 2 used to be adult onset diabetes and now we are finding more 10 and 11-year-olds being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes because they are not participating in healthy living," Dori Yeater with the American Diabetes Association said.
Five percent of those diagnosed with diabetes have Type 1. That is where the body doesn't produce insulin at all, and you have to take insulin shots. The other 95 percent have Type 2. That is where the body produces insulin, but fails to use it properly.
Experts say Type 2 diabetes is preventable with diet and exercise, but it can be deadly.
That is why one La Grange student is trying to stop diabetes in its tracks.
Matt Rayburn wants to be just like his dad. However, there is one trait he hopes he doesn't get.
"I was really worried," Matt said.
Four years ago life threw his family a curve ball, when his dad, Chip, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
"I had all the symptoms," Chip said. "The blurred vision, the restlessness, couldn't sleep at night, always thirsty."
The diagnoses wasn't a big surprise, Chip's father died from the disease in 2001.
"I just wanted to learn more about it," Matt said.
And that is what Matt did. He joined his family in the fight for a cure.
The 10-year-old La Grange student has created a website to get maximum exposure. In fact, he's already raised over $1,400 for School Walk for Diabetes.
"He is aware of it," Chip said. "With my dad dying and me being diagnosed it is hereditary so someday Matthew may have it."
Matt is doing everything to make sure he doesn't get the disease.
He says he'll continue to be a crusader for a cure-for his dad.
"He wouldn't have to watch his diet and he wouldn't have to exercise as much as he does now," Matt said.
Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States.
If you want to take part in finding a cure, you have the chance Friday.
Matt and others will be walking at La Grange Intermediate School.
School Walk for Diabetes (SWFD) is a K-12 educational fund-raising program that teaches students the benefits of healthy living, community service and school spirit while raising money for the American Diabetes Association.
For more information on the program and how your school can participate, click on the link listed below.
To check out Matt's website, you can click on the link below.
The American Diabetes Association is the nation's leading 501(C)3 nonprofit health organization providing diabetes research, information and advocacy. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association conducts programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, reaching hundreds of communities.
For more information about the American Diabetes Association, click on the link listed below.
Both Matt and Chip Rayburn are involved in the Tour de Cure. It's a series of fund-raising cycling events held in 40 states nationwide to benefit the American Diabetes Association.
For more information on the Tour de Cure, click on the link below.
Also, the Brazos County Health Department is hosting diabetes education classes for adults with Type 2 diabetes. The classes will be held from 6-9p.m. every Monday from March 31 through April 28. The classes will take place at the B-CS Community Health Center Classroom at 3370 Texas Avenue in Bryan. The cost of the class is $10 per person and scholarships are available. For more information and to register call 979-823-0129.
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