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2013 JDRF Walk: Walking In A Diabetics Shoes

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A few thousand people from all over the Sioux Empire took a walk Saturday morning to help find a cure for type on diabetes. Sponsored by KDLT, the JDRF walk took place at Sanford’s Research Facility, where diabetes research takes place. We walked with the 2013 walk ambassador, to learn what it’s like to live with the disease.

Emily Phelps is an energetic, ambitious, 14-year-old from Tea. But underneath her blue tutu is a device that makes sure her body has enough insulin to keep her blood sugar at a normal level.

 “We took her to the hospital when she had had the flu, and she had been sick for about a week. And she had severe stomach pain, and we just thought something had come up because of the flu,” said Traci Phelps, Emily’s mother.

In April 2011, Traci said after hours of waiting in the hospital, her family’s life was changed forever. Emily, only 11, was diagnosed with type one diabetes.
"We really didn’t know what it was, so we were shocked. We really didn’t know what it took to take care of it,” said Emily Phelps, a diabetic.

She said the past couple years transitioning into a life with diabetes has been a struggle. Emily said the normal routines for a teenager; have to be done a different way.
"Everything I do now is different,” explained Emily. “Even just going to people's houses to spend the night, their mom's have to wake me up in the middle of the night, and things like getting clothes that fit over my insulin pump, and just really anything I can't do without thinking about it first.”

So on Saturday, she put on her sparkly boots, and led her friends, and 3,300 people in a walk to raise money to help find a cure for diabetes.

"I just want to do everything I can to help find a cure and be apart of it all,” said Emily.

And she has a message for everyone who may be where she was just a year and a half ago.

"Just stay strong, there are people out there like you, it may seem like the end of the world, but it will get better,” said Emily.

Wise words from a young lady with a horrible disease, that has yet to slow her down.

Saturday’s goal was to raise $315,000 for JDRF South Dakota that will go towards Sanford’s research.
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