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Locasl takes a long walk for diabetes

Jane Smith is preparing for the adventure of her life - and for her life.

Jane Smith is preparing for the adventure of her life - and for her life. Beginning this May, the 34-year-old will travel to both Vancouver and Iceland to join the Canadian Diabetes Association's Team Canada to walk two half-marathons within four months.Diabetes is already and integral part Smith's life. Her mother, aunt, uncle and grandmother all have forms of diabetes, and she has been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, also called insulin resistant.

"Like most young people, I believed myself to be invincible it's not who or what I am - I know better now," she said.At this point in her diagnosis she can make lifestyle choices to keep her from developing type-two diabetes. The walks are one way that Smith can add exercise into her life, but she is also changing the way she looks at food. "I need to consider whether eating a certain food is worth the stress on my body," she said.

She also recognizes the importance of educating family members and said that she is doing the walk, "to make changes in my life and my family's." She has a 16-year old daughter and hopes that she will also be motivated to follow a healthy lifestyle, and choose to eat low-glycemic foods. "This is a family disease, and our family is going to make the changes necessary to stop it with me."

On May 4, Smith and her mother Mary Lou Cavanagh will drive to Vancouver and join hundreds of others and walk 21.1-kilometres to raise money and awareness for the disease. The Association organizes several races across the country, and internationally each year. In 2008, there will also be races in Halifax, Ottawa, Calgary, Kelowna, Toronto, and internationally in Dublin, New York and Honolulu."My mom has been planning on doing one of these walks for three years," Smith said.

In August, the mother and daughter team will fly to Reykjavik, Iceland for their second race. For this one, each team member is required to raise a minimum of $6,100 in funds for the Canadian Diabetes Association. The funds raised are directed towards the Association's mission and vision of helping to support diabetes research, education, support and advocacy.

Smith will be participating in, 'Give Diabetes the Boot' at WalMart this weekend. There will be a table set-up and people can contribute money into a boot, or choose to pay with credit. In addition, on March 8 there will be another fund raising event where people can buy a burger and a beer at the Grizzly Bar and Grill with all funds going towards the Diabetes Association.

To learn more about diabetes go to www.diabetes.ca, and to contact Smith: (604) 898-5657, sungirl@telus.net.

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