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BLAND, Va. — A 5K run is being planned for a young lady battling Type 1 diabetes in Bland County.

The run will also be in honor of another young lady, Christian Noel Akers, who recently passed away after a battle with diabetes.  

5K spokesperson Meagan Morehead Bradshaw said in order to afford Kylee an alert dog, and in Noel’s honor, a 5K run is being planned.

“On April 22, there will be a 5K in Bland starting at 9 a.m.,” Bradshaw said. “Registration is at the Lutheran Church on Main Street. Fee that day is $25, preregistration is $20. Preregistration can be made through Kylee’s mom, Kim Dunford, who can be reached at 304-922-8110. There will also be a Facebook page created for the event. Food will be available at the Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall during the event. Please come out and support such a worthy cause. I can’t think of one more worthy. “

Bradshaw said diabetes alert dogs are a miracle. “I don’t even understand how, but the dog can smell the patient’s sugar level and alert when it is too high or too low,” Bradshaw said. “Noel’s mom said if Noel had had a dog, I believe she would be alive today. Kylee needs one, but they are expensive.”

Bradshaw said diabetic alert dogs save lives. “It’s that simple,” Bradshaw said. “Kylee Dunford is a 13-year-old Bland County High School eighth-grader. She lives with diabetes. Her mother Kim said Kylee was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at age 11. She has, in the two years since diagnosis, been hospitalized numerous times. She struggles with maintaining a level sugar count during her sleep. Any virus, a stomach virus or a cold, sets it off, as well as other times when it can’t be explained. She wears an insulin pump, which should help, but it’s not enough. The family takes turns getting up in the night to check her sugar, and at times it has bottomed out, because the pump was stopped up. They need help.”

 Bradshaw said Donna Dunn, Noel’s mom, recently quoted Maya Angelou. “The legacy of a life is the lives you touch,” Bradshaw said. “Noel touched countless lives. Kylee will, too.”

– Contact Blake Stowers at bstowers@bdtonline.com