COTTONWOOD — Prairie High School student Kate Lustig is working on a senior project near and dear to her heart.

Lustig will be host to the Walk with Kate diabetes walk Saturday, Nov. 3.

“I decided to do a walk because I have Type I diabetes and I wanted my senior project to contribute to other diabetics,” she explained. “I also want to educate others about this very prevalent disease.”

At the age of 8, Lustig had an unusual amount of stomach aches, was always hungry, didn’t have any energy and began to lose weight. It was then that she was diagnosed with diabetes.

She discovered her fraternal grandpa and two first cousins on her mother’s side all have Type 1 diabetes.

However, she said diabetes has never held her back.

“The message I would like to get out to all the diabetics is don’t be ashamed of being diabetic. I have always been outspoken about diabetes to everyone around me. I always wear my pump where it is visible, and I test my blood in public places,” she emphasized. “Sometimes people ask me questions and I really enjoy this. I welcome the questions because I like helping people understand what is going on and that diabetes is not scary.”

For the walk, participants will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 3 at Prairie Elementary School and will walk at 10 a.m.

“We are walking from the school to St. Mary’s Clinic and back,” Lustig said. At the clinic there will be a free health screening. There is no cost for the walk and anyone interested is encouraged to participate.

Lustig has been raising money, as well, and everything she gathers will go toward care packages that will be given to newly diagnosed diabetic children.

“This will include coloring pencils and a book, puzzle, a lap blanket, a children’s book about diabetes, stuffed animal, carb counting book and medical alert bracelet,” she said.

The daughter of Bob and April Lustig, she has five siblings. Following graduation, she plans to go to beauty school for cosmetology. She is involved with church youth group, riding club, Prairie League, and 4-H.

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