Philadelphia, Oct. 4, 2011 -Wearing a black Phillies cap with a red “P,” state Sen. Anthony H. Williams joined the “Red Striders” – people living with diabetes – and 3,000 supporters who were walking for a cure at the annual American Diabetes Association Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes on Oct. 1.
Standing on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Williams shared his own struggles with obesity and type 2 diabetes with the participants just prior to the 5K walk.
“I decided to take charge of my health and I’ve lost 67 pounds so far,” Williams said. “Through fundamental changes to my diet and activity level, my diabetic symptoms have been managed to where I don’t have to take insulin. Diabetes can be controlled. People don’t have to suffer with it and I’m proof of that.”
Williams led his walking team dubbed “Tony’s Tapestry,” a multigenerational group of walkers who came together to raise awareness about the impact of diabetes in the 8th Senatorial District.
One in 12 residents of Delaware County struggles with diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In Philadelphia, the number is higher, at one in 10 residents, which is the second highest rate of incidence in Pennsylvania.
“This disease is pervasive in our society but it can be prevented by practicing proper nutrition and exercising regularly,” Williams said. “It doesn’t even have to be a 5K walk; people can take their health one step at a time.”
Williams’ participation in the Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes is the kickoff to the senator’s “Health Awareness Month.” Teaming up with local organizations, Williams is hosting or participating in a variety of activities and events that promote health, from a health fair to strength training and line dancing classes.
For more information about Health Awareness Month, visit www.senatoranthonyhwilliams.com.
The American Diabetes Association will continue to take donations as part of the Step Out walk through Dec. 31. The organization is also looking for volunteers. Visit www.diabetes.org for more information.