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Hundreds walk to raise Diabetes awareness in Baton Rouge

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BATON ROUGE - Fifteen-year old Blake Stone of Prairieville appears to be an average teenager, but he's suffered from Diabetes since he was a small child.

This year, he participated in the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation's Walk for Awareness.

"It's kind of difficult for a teenager to have Type 1, because you have to stop what your are doing sometime during the day and check you blood, give yourself insulin," Stone said.

Stone was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 3. He has to give himself several injections of insulin everyday, but the East Ascension High student doesn't allow his condition to keep him from living a normal life.

"I used to play soccer, years ago when I was little and that didn't stop me. I still played, I still checked my blood. I still did every thing as a kid, like everybody else."

An estimated 1,000 people turned out for the walk at Highland Road Park in Baton Rouge.

The walk has been going strong for 20 years and raises hundreds of thousands of dollars to help find a cure for Diabetes.

Organizers say events like this are especially important for Louisiana. About 250 people are diagnosed in the state every year, meaning Louisiana has 25 percent more cases of Diabetes than any other state in the country.

"A lot people don't know about Type 1... Type 1 is a lot different. It's an auto-immune disease where the pancreas stop producing insulin. It's not caused by lifestyle or diet, It's a lot different from Type 2," said Jill Joffrion, Executive Director of the JDRF.

As far as Stone is concerned, he's been rolling since 2006 when he was first diagnosed, and he plans to keep walking and raising money until a cure is discovered.

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