MUSCATINE, Iowa–On their journey to support people with diabetes and educate the community about prevention and management, the Muscatine Diabetes Project previously held 15 annual walks. What originally started as a partnership among the Muscatine Diabetes Project, the Watermelon Stampede, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in 2005 eventually grew into its own unique event. After halting for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Muscatine Diabetes Project looks forward to hitting the trail once again with their Healthier You Walk, taking place in Discovery Park May 6.
Beginning at 5:30 p.m. May 6, walkers can come and register at Discovery Park, located at 3300 Cedar Street. Registration costs $10 for adults ages 18 and up. Children 17 and younger may pay with the donation of one healthy non-perishable food item for Muscatine Center for Social Action’s food pantry, such as a can of low-sodium soup or vegetables, canned fruit in light syrup, unsweetened applesauce, or a small jar of Skippy or Jif peanut butter. After registering, walkers can visit with some of the many vendors who will come to the walk, including Anytime Fitness, the Butcher’s Vegetables, Impact Fitness & Nutrition, Konnect Fitness, the Melon City Bike Club (who will provide information about their youth bike rodeo May 19), the Muscatine Community Y, the Muscatine Parks and Recreation Department, UnityPoint Health-Trinity Muscatine Hospital, and Vision Center P.C.
Along with meeting vendors and getting some tasty food, walkers can also take a low-cost A1C test provided by the Muscatine Diabetes Project. These fast and reliable blood tests, which require only a small finger prick, can help determine if a person has diabetes and give useful information to discuss with a primary care provider.
At 7 p.m., the walk will officially step off and follow a one and a half mile course through Discovery Park. A walk designed to suit the needs of both new and veteran walkers, Muscatine Diabetes Project Co-Founder and President Kim Seligman hopes it will inspire participants to make walking a healthy part of their regular routine.
This year, the money raised from the Muscatine Diabetes Project Healthier You Walk will go to the organization’s upcoming Do You Know Your Number? campaign, which will encourage people to find out their A1C numbers. Through the campaign, Seligman hopes to make 200 free A1C tests available to people in need throughout Muscatine County, which will cost approximately $2,000 in total. The Muscatine Diabetes Project also provides educational programs to both students and teachers, provides diabetes emergency supply kits to schools in Muscatine County, and scholarships for children with diabetes to go to a camp designed to allow them to enjoy traditional camp activities safely.
An evening full of outdoor fun, good community resources, and relevant diabetes education, Seligman looks forward to having an excellent turnout at this year’s Healthier You Walk. “This year’s theme is to encourage people to become a healthier version of themselves,” she stated: “These past two years have been especially hard on people’s personal health and well-being. Regular walking is key for improving and maintaining our physical and mental health.”