The Richmond Register

Local News

April 12, 2014

EKU track to be ‘packed’ Thursday

RICHMOND — Eastern Kentucky University’s outdoor running track will be packed from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, but it won’t be an NCAA competitive event.

About 800 students from Waco Elementary and Model Laboratory School will be putting into practice a component of the diabetes prevention lessons they’ve been learning from EKU nursing students. The student nurses have been teaching the children about healthy lifestyles, how proper diet and exercise can prevent diabetes, said Kim DeCoste of the Madison County Diabetes Coalition.

Last year about 800 students from the two schools participated, and they were joined by EKU students, faculty and community members.

“I’m walking the track to help keep my pancreas healthy and not get diabetes,”  DeCoste said a small child told her during last year’s Pack the Track event. “When I heard that, I knew we had achieved a large measure of success,” DeCoste said.

The event is not just about practicing the healthful habits that children learn in school, DeCoste added.

Pack the Track is a service-learning project for the student nurses. It gives them experience in organizing population health events, she said.

It also will help raise funds for the Diabetes Assistance Program the local coalition will soon launch in both Richmond and Berea.

Local services for diabetes patients have been diminished since the state stopped funding the Diabetes Center for Excellence that was operated by the Madison County Health Department.

The coalition’s Diabetes Assistance Program will help fill the gap left by the center's closure, DeCoste said.

Last year, Pack the Track raised about $10,000, and DeCoste hopes even more will be raised this year.

Everyone who donates or raises at least $10 and comes to the EKU track Thursday will receive a T-shirt, she said.

“Every penny raised by Pack the Track will stay in Madison County and help our neighbors manage their diabetes,” DeCoste said.

“We invite everyone to come out and enjoy the spring weather, get some exercise, learn how to prevent or manage diabetes and contribute to our new Diabetes Assistance Program,” she said.

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