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Published April 25, 2011, 04:28 PM

Walkers Trek Across the Country For Diabetes Awareness

More than a dozen people have put on their walking shoes for a good cause. They're making a trek across the United States to raise awareness for diabetes.

More than a dozen people have put on their walking shoes for a good cause. They're making a trek across the United States to raise awareness for diabetes.

With each step, each mile and each town, a little more awareness is spread around.

"We're going to all the reservations along the way and just telling people about how to reverse diabetes, that it can be reversed," Northern Route Coordinator Christopher Francisco said.

13 walkers are making their way from Oregon to Washington D.C. not only for their own health but to address diabetes in Native American communities.

"My cousins are all in their late 20's, early 30's and they're on insulin already. I'm 50 years old so it gave me a purpose for walking." walker Manny Calapoo said.

The Walkers, who are part of "The Longest Walk 3" are in Grand Forks, which is almost the halfway point on their journey. They hope to inspire younger generations.

"We met with a high school; kindergarten through 8th grade in the am, and 9th through 10th grade and we just encouraged them to eat better foods, not just to crave hamburgers and pizza," Calapoo said.

Although the miles can be tiring, raising awareness and possibly changing a few lives is what the walk is all about.

"The most inspiring part I think is seeing the young people come out and run with us when we go into communities," Francisco said.

"If you have parents, grandparents, encourage them to walk too. Get up and say come on grandma let's go for a little walk or something," Calapoo said.

The walkers will give a presentation at UND Tuesday and then they are off to Minnewaukan.

They hope to make it to Washington D.C. by July 8th.

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