An estimated quarter of a billion people in the United States are directly affected by diabetes while more than 79 million people are at risk for developing the illness. With this in mind, the School of Nursing and the Sebastian Health Center teams at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University seek to bring awareness to the seriousness of this disease through the first on-campus Diabetes Awareness Walk on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 11:15 a.m.

“We want to bring awareness to the fact that diabetes is a serious chronic illness that affects many people,” said Dr. Schenita Randolph, assistant professor in the School of Nursing. “We also want to increase awareness among those who may be at risk for diabetes.”

Randolph also serves as the interim director of community engagement and clinical translation at the university.

“We’re starting out bringing awareness to the university but we hope that there can be an expansion for the underserved population and residents of Greensboro that may not know how to manage their diabetes,” she said.

Diabetes is a pressing issue for the greater Greensboro area. In 2008, diabetes ranked number seven in the leading causes of death in North Carolina and ranked as the fourth leading cause of death among African Americans.

The health center and nursing school plan to use the event as a tool to inform and educate walkers on way in which they can prevent or manage diabetes. Randolph explained that healthy eating habits and regular exercise are important components for diabetes prevention.

“There is a link between diabetes and obesity, being overweight or obese is a leading factor for type 2 diabetes,” said Randolph.

The Diabetes Awareness Walk is a two-mile trek around the N.C. A&T campus and will begin on the lawn of Noble Hall facing the A&T Four Statue. After the walk refreshments will be served in Noble Hall and walkers will receive more information on the disease that is plaguing millions across America.