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Diabetes Walk gets lift from two LHS students

Two Lakeridge High School students - senior Allison Steelman and junior Stephanie Tarlow - have again organized their classmates to take part in the annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International Walk.

The walk is scheduled Sunday at Oaks Park. Registration is 9 a.m., the 5k walk begins at 11 a.m., a barbecue will be held at noon and participants will be given bracelets for free rides at Oaks Park in the afternoon.

'Our goals for the walk increase every year,' said Tarlow. 'We hope to have 160 (Lake Oswego) walkers and raise $7,000.

Tarlow and Steelman met a few years ago in junior high school and played lacrosse together when they reached Lakeridge.

'If both of our blood (levels) was low, we'd sit out together and have time to get to know each other,' Tarlow said.

Both teenagers were diagnosed, at ages 12 and 13, respectfully, with juvenile diabetes.

Tarlow and Steelman begin each school year by picking out the color of T-shirts for the walk. Washman LLC purchases 170 T-shirts, then Kustom Prints (run by Tarlow's uncle) creates the screen-printed T-shirts.

Upon completion, Tarlow and Steelman begin their sales at Lakeridge during lunch and breaks.

'Once people hear that the Diabetes walk is coming, everyone starts coming up to us to ask when they can buy the T-shirts,' Steelman said. 'The coolest thing is when you go to class and everyone has on our T-shirts, it means so much to us.'

The T-shirts cost $15 (with all proceeds going to JDRF). Steelman and Tarlow will be selling their shirts at a tent at Oaks Park Sunday.

The walk is free.

Special guests include: Rhonda Shelby, KATU meteorologist; former Portland Trailblazer Chris Dudley; Sharitha McKenzie, Miss Oregon USA 2007; Cassie McCready, 2007 Walk Ambassador; and Scooby Doo.

JDRF was founded in 1970 by the parents of children with Type 1 juvenile diabetes - a chronic, debilitating disease affecting every organ system. This disease strikes children suddenly and makes them insulin dependent for life. It also carries the constant threat of devastating complications. Type I diabetes is not limited to children as many are diagnosed in early adulthood as well.

For more information, call 503-643-1995 or visit the JDRF Web site at http://walk.jdrf.org.