As a nurse and certified diabetes educator, Bronson was looking for a way to help those in the community living with diabetes by alleviating some of the costs of what can be a very expensive disease. Thus, the Sugar Bust Diabetes Run event was formed. On Sept. 9, the second annual run will be hosted at Spring Lake Park.
Diabetes is a multifaceted disease that can affect people of all ages, across differing cultures and lifestyles. Deb Bronson has a passion for educating patients and families about the disease at the Diabetes Education Clinic at CHI St. Alexius in Williston.
All funds raised at Sugar Bust stay local and are used to provide censors, eye exams, dental visits, A1C tests and insulin for patients at the Diabetes Education Clinic. But the scope doesn’t just reach Williston, as the clinic gets referrals from Great Plains Women’s Clinic, the V.A. clinic, Trenton, Tioga and Watford City to learn from Bronson about living with diabetes.
“I see any patient that has prediabetes, type one, type two or gestational diabetes. A new onset diagnosis or anytime in their diabetes lifetime, ” Bronson said. “My purpose is to educate them about lifestyle changes, but sometimes lifestyle changes aren’t enough, so then we talk about new medication. My goal is to keep everyone healthy.”
Bronson has been a nurse for 34 years and at the clinic for 25 years. She sees a wide variety of ages in the clinic, from one-and-a-half to 85 years old.
“I enjoy being able to ease people’s fears when they receive that diagnosis of diabetes,” Bronson said. “Whether it is a kiddo with their parents who are trying to take in all the information they can to help their child feel better, to the oldest patient who has seen many changes in their lifetime of caring for their diabetes.”
Bronson explained that diabetes affects eyes, heart, kidneys and nerve endings in the fingers and toes and that there is a 30-40% increased chance of heart attack or stroke risk with the disease.
“My goal is to help them manage their diabetes to avoid the long term complications on the body that come with elevated glucose,” Bronson said.
The Sugar Bust Diabetes Run is an extension of Bronson’s vision of prevention and education about diabetes. Some of the funds are used for scholarships to send kids to Camp Maverick, a camp that has medical professionals available for monitoring while allowing kids with diabetes to learn some independence. Funding also ensures that every one of Bronson’s patients receive a free dental exam, eye exam and A1C test.
“It’s been wonderful to have the extra friends on hand to use for (Bronson’s) patients,” said Marcia Benway, CHI St. Alexius Williston marketing specialist.
On Sept. 9, the Sugar Bust Diabetes Run will open registration at 8:45 a.m., and begin at 10 a.m. There will be a 5K run, one mile walk for adults and a one mile run for the kids.
Register the day of the race or with the QR code for a discounted price of $25 for ages 12 and above, $10 for kids aged 5-11 and four and under are free. The whole family is welcome to attend, even dogs can participate for $5 and receive a bandana.
People are encouraged to come out for a day of celebration of the community. After the run, the free Community Fair goes until 3 p.m. and will be set up at Spring Lake Park with a vendor village, booths, inflatables and a stage for local talent to share.
There are volunteer opportunities during the day as well as sponsorship options that can be found on the CHI St. Alexius Health’s website or by contacting Bronson at [email protected].