Local teens team up to stop diabetes

Camas teens Ka’iulani Warren (center, red hat) and friend Luke Bruno (far left, black hat) organized a team for the recent Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes on Sept. 28. Warren was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 4.

This time of year, most 14-year-olds are busy playing sports, participating in activities and getting back into the routine of school.

Two Camas residents and friends Ka’iulani Warren and Luke Bruno, are doing all of that and raising money for diabetes research.

Warren and Bruno, both 14, organized a team for the recent Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes on Saturday, Sept. 28 at the Vancouver Landing. Although the weather was stormy throughout the walk, it did little to dampen their spirits.

“When Luke learned that Ka’iulani has type I diabetes, he wanted to help and raise funds for a cure,” said Andrea Bruno, Luke’s mom and executive director of the American Diabetes Association for Oregon, Southwest Washington and Southern Idaho. “He’s active and this is a great way to support a friend and others in our community. It was a wet one, but Ka’iulani and Luke walked and had a great time.”

Warren was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 4. Both eighth-graders, she attends Liberty Middle School and Bruno attends Skyridge Middle School.

Diabetes is a 24/7 disease that requires Warren to wear an insulin pump, prick her finger six to eight times a day and carefully plan her meals and activity. Despite those challenges, she lives an active life playing soccer, volleyball, basketball and running track.

Funds raised at Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes support research and programs that support kids with diabetes in school. The ultimate goal is a cure. So far, Team Ka’iulani’s Ohana raised more than $1,435. Although the walk has passed, donations can be made at www.diabetes.org/clarkcountystepout, until the end of the month.

According to the American Diabetes Society, there are nearly 26 million Americans who have diabetes. One-third of these people don’t even know they have it. An additional 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes.

If current trends continue, one in three American adults will have diabetes by 2050. In addition, www.diabetes.org states that every 17 seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes, and that it kills more Americans each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.