On May 13, 2011, Ohio State Senator Eric H. Kearney began a 107 mile walk from Cincinnati to Columbus, Ohio. His ambitious trek was a unique way of drawing attention to Juvenile Diabetes and Sickle Cell Anemia. As a state senator, Kearney has made child-related health issues a priority. The hundred mile walk was just another way to share his message with the public.
The walk began with a kickoff celebration in Cincinnati where it drew support from local businesses. Talk show host, Lincoln Ware from WDBZ, The Buzz Radio, and a small group of loyal supporters walked along with Senator Kearney for the entire journey. Videographer, Greg Reese, videotaped nearly every step of the way. He didn’t walk with them, but according to Reese, “I did whatever I could to make their journey a bit more comfortable.”
After three days and an estimated 40 hours walking time, the senator and his fellow travelers arrived as scheduled. On Monday May 16, 2011 at 5:00 pm, a small crowd applauded their arrival at the Statehouse steps.
Senator Kearney knows how to get attention
Senator Kearney’s recent walk was actually his fifth annual 100 mile journey, but he may be better known for a similarly grand gesture in 2010. The night before Ohio early voting began, the senator and his supporters brought tents and sleeping bags to the Hamilton County Board of Elections. Kearney’s overnight camp-out put them first in line to cast their votes the next morning. His actions stressed the importance of voting in the interim election.
The senator’s annual walk is a symbol of his commitment to the people he serves. He’s driven to help raise the quality of life for Ohioans, including his smallest constituents. In 2010, Senator Kearney was co-sponsor of Ohio Senate Bill 210, the “Healthy Choices for Children Act.” His walks are further proof of his dedication to the cause of keeping children healthy. This year the walk raised the level of awareness for two devastating childhood diseases.
Sickle Cell Anemia
Sickle cell anemia is a serious genetic blood disorder. Men suffering from the disease may have an average 42 year life expectancy. Women may live to the age of 48. Only with continued research is there hope for finding a cure. Children who suffer from sickle cell anemia may be affected by a wide range of complications, including chronic pain, infections, organ damage and stroke. Research is ongoing. They have not yet found a cure, but these are few of the things researchers have accomplished.
-Parents have greater access to information on managing sickle cell anemia.
-Children can undergo treatments to manage a host of sickle cell symptoms.
-Infants are now diagnosed via newborn screenings.
-Doctors give antibiotics to prevent infections.
-Blood transfusions offer relief to some children.
World Sickle Cell Awareness Day is June 23 – 24, 2011.
Children with diabetes have difficulty regulating sugar levels in their blood. The illness may lead to heart disease, nerve damage, slow deterioration of the kidneys, vision problems and many other complications. Children who suffer from the diabetes must check their insulin levels during the day and stick to a carefully planned diet to keep healthy. To survive, some children take multiple daily insulin doses by injection or insulin pump. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is leading the way toward finding a cure.
Videographer Greg Reese:
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation: