JDRF Walk: Taking steps to cure type 1 diabetes - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

JDRF Walk: Taking steps to cure type 1 diabetes

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There was a strong showing Saturday morning (Nov. 8, 2014) at the JDRF San Diego Walk to Cure Diabetes. Photo courtesy @dancohenCBS8 There was a strong showing Saturday morning (Nov. 8, 2014) at the JDRF San Diego Walk to Cure Diabetes. Photo courtesy @dancohenCBS8
SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – CBS News 8's Carlo Cecchetto joined thousands of San Diegans Saturday, getting up early to participate in the JDRF San Diego Walk to Cure Diabetes.

The event raises money for diabetes research, and while there's no cure yet, one local company could be close to a breakthrough.

Every year, 145 children in San Diego are diagnosed with type 1 juvenile diabetes. This Saturday, the walk sets out to raise money to hopefully one day find a cure, and some of that money is going to a local company that is currently working on a major medical breakthrough.

ViaCyte calls it a functional cure. You'll still have diabetes, but you won't have to keep monitoring your insulin levels multiple times a day.

"The cells go in the device and then this gets implanted under the skin," ViaCyte CEO Paul Laikind said.

Laikind says it works great in mice. Now they're starting tests on humans.

"The idea is that patients would no longer have to be worrying from minute to minute on day to day about their glucose levels. This product would be monitoring that for them and releasing the factors appropriately like your pancreas would," he said.

In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. This is different from type 2 diabetes, which is often caused by a poor diet, and your body produces too much insulin.

Brooklynn Hamilton was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 10 years ago, and while she tries not to let it control her life, the 9th grader admits it's always in the back of her mind, which is why Saturday's walk is one of her favorite days of the year.

"The walk kind of shows how many people are out there supporting and how people are fighting back against this disease, because even though sometimes it feels like I'm alone and the only one going through this, it's nice to see that I have friends and family supporting me and people out there like me as well," Brooklynn said.

The JDRF walk started at 6th and Laurel at 7:20 a.m. Saturday with opening remarks from CBS News 8's Carlo Cecchetto. They're hoping to have at least 3,000 participants.

The goal this year is to raise $630,000 at the walk. For more information, CLICK HERE.>>



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