Community supports cure for juvenile diabetes
Wearing custom T-shirts that read “Cure for Caylee,” the 5-year-old’s family showed their support during the Walk to Cure Diabetes at Carson High School on Saturday.
Caylee Young was diagnosed with the disease at age 3. Her mother, Corinne, wanted to help find a cure, so she decided to participate in the October walk in Reno.
“But I just couldn’t do it,” she explained. “My husband was getting deployed, and things were kind of crazy.”
When she heard about Saturday’s event, hosted by Carson High School’s Heath Occupations Students of America, the Fallon mother didn’t hesitate.
“We had to do it,” she said.
Corinne’s mother, Lori Johnson, and sisters Emily and Ali Johnson also wore the T-shirts. Caylee’s baby sister, Coral, 11 months, had “Cure my sis” written across the bum of her sweat pants and Caylee’s shirt read, “Dream for my cure.”
“We just have that hope for a cure,” Corinne said. “To see the turnout, it’s great. It brings tears to my eyes.”
About 150 people showed up to walk the mile and a half around the high school campus in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Shana Wilkens, HOSA adviser, said the organization had raised about $3,000 and was hoping to collect a little more during the walk.
In the end, $2,500 was raised by the day’s participants.
“The community really gave,” Wilkens said. “I was amazed. It really just blew me away.”
Among them, were a group of students from Bordewich-Bray Elementary School.
“We wanted to help people with diabetes,” said Alex Marschener, 11. “We wanted to raise money for them so they could get better.”
Teacher Linda Hurzel encouraged them to participate. She said the students brought their parents and families, and former students showed up as well.
“P.E. teachers throughout the state are focusing on random acts of fitness,” she said. “We thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get kids out and active.”
Allicia Blake’s family came to support her as a member of HOSA and to support the cause. As a family, they raised $100.
“It’s the right thing to do,” said her grandfather Jim Bean.
John Rowe, 11, is hoping the fundraising will help find a cure for the disease that has plagued him since he was 7.
“I have to go to the nurse a lot,” he said. “I have to waste some of my recess to get a shot, and I don’t get to eat all the food my friends get to eat.”
Wilkens said for the first year, it was a success. Several local businesses set up booths and made donations to the cause.
“It ended up being a great event,” she said. “I hope to make it even bigger and better next year.”
And after a couple of weeks of unpredictable wintry weather, Saturday turned out to be sunny with blue skies.
“We got a lot of grace from somewhere,” she said.