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Selling sneakers to help fight juvenile diabetes

By Staff | Aug 31, 2011

Paper sneakers have graced many stores in Cape Coral and Fort Myers this month, encouraging individuals to donate $1 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to further support the cause of finding ways to battle the disease.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Florida Suncoast Chapter Development Coordin-ator Gina Dengler said approximately 85 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to research and research education.

Dengler said the funds that they use locally goes toward supporting families through outreach programs, research updates and resources.

“Those in our area that use insulin pumps, long and fast acting insulin, comfort needles and are living longer and healthier lives with diabetes are all contributing from the research sponsored by JDRF,” she said.

Type 1 diabetes, an auto-immune disease, occurs when an individual’s pancreas stops producing the insulin that is needed to control blood sugar levels. This type usually occurs in childhood, adolescence or young adulthood. Those diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes must take multiple injections of insulin a day to survive.

Type 1 diabetes is rising 3-5 percent every year in the United States. One in every 400 children and adolescents have Type 1 diabetes, which is a more severe disease than Type 2 because an individual who is diagnosed with it cannot live more than two weeks without insulin.

Many of the businesses that support the sneaker sales have been selling them in their stores for many years.

One of JDRF’s partners of 18 years is Advance Auto, who has raised more than $30 million nationally and $5.1 million alone last year. Individuals can purchase the sneakers from Advance Auto until Oct. 1.

Another longstanding partner of JDRF of 17 years is Marshalls. That company raised $1.9 million nationally last year. Sneakers can be purchased until Sept. 24.

Dengler said the Fort Myers Marshalls was the number one store in the country for its sneaker sales.

Fresh Market, Walgreens and Moe’s Southwest Grill also joined JDRF in the cause to raise money for the foundation.

JDRF is partnering with other organizations to collaborate research to help those in need.

The Florida Suncoast Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation was formed in 1994 and currently covers 10 counties from Manatee to Collier and east to Lake Okeechobee.

Dengler said they are in the process of moving their office from Sarasota to Naples. The office is tentatively scheduled to open on Sept. 5.

For information visit www.jdrf.org/index.cfm?page_id=100555 or call 239-992-3840.