Allen has a stake in the ‘diabetes marathon’
Terry Allen of Milltown has been doing a lot of running lately. Good thing. He plans to run a marathon in January.
“The reason is much more important than the personal challenge of completing the 26.2 miles,” said Allen, a conservation officer with the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources.
Allen, 30, was diagnosed with diabetes about 2-1/2 years ago.
“I had some of the common symptoms,” such as frequent urination and constant thirst, even in winter, he said. “I also lost 10 to 15 pounds in about six months.”
Allen said his family has a history of high blood pressure, and his was rising.
During a visit to his doctor about something else, Allen mentioned some of these symptoms. The doctor asked him some questions and learned that “there’s a little bit of history of diabetes” in Allen’s family, the conservation officer said.
A great-aunt requires insulin, and Allen’s paternal grandmother and father have to watch their sugar intake.
Allen’s physician prescribed pills, then about three months ago Allen switched to injections. At each meal he gives himself an injection. He also tries to consume a low-fat, high-fiber diet. He “eats lots of fruits and vegetables.”
With adult on-set diabetes, which is what Allen has, exercise and weight control are important, he said.
As a student at Crawford County Junior-Senior High School, Allen played basketball, but, “I wasn’t a runner,” he said. Because his job requires him to stay in reasonably good condition, Allen took up short-distance running, doing one to two miles several times a week.
Allen became aware of the American Diabetes Association’s “Team Diabetes” marathons through an ADA mailing.
Once he committed to the marathon, Allen hooked up with a trainer who helped him establish a running regimen. He ran a tough race last month at the Leavenworth RiverFest and another race last year in Washington, D.C.
The diabetes marathon, set for Jan. 6 in Orlando, Fla., will be his first 26-miler.
“I’m not after speed, just to finish,” Allen said. “As members of the American Diabetes Association Team Diabetes, we will run in the event to assist the organization in their efforts to battle diabetes.
“The marathon is important because it raises awareness for a good cause,” he said. “There are so many people affected by diabetes.”
The ADA says 15.7 million people — or 5.9 percent of the U.S. population — have diabetes, and one-third of them don’t know it. That’s about 5.4 million people. The ADA estimates that 798,000 people will be diagnosed with diabetes this year.
Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death by disease in the United States. Complications from diabetes include heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage and severe infections that often lead to foot and leg amputations.
Marathon participants raise money for the ADA. The funds are used in three key areas: research, information and advocacy.
“Any donation someone can make will be greatly appreciated by me and the millions of other people who have diabetes,” Allen said. “With everyone’s support, our common goal of eliminating diabetes can someday be reached.”
Donations, which are tax deductible, for Allen’s participation may be sent to: American Diabetes Association, 7363 E. 21st St., Indianapolis, IN 46219. In the memo line of a check, be sure to write “Team Diabetes — Terry Allen” so the donation gets credited to the proper account.
Besides accepting donations, Allen is selling raffle tickets on an Encore muzzleloader. Chances are $10 each, and are available at G & G Guns on S.R. 64 in English.