Nearly 10 percent of the Texas population is diagnosed with diabetes. Local residents walked, ran and raised money Saturday to stop the disease in its tracks.

About 75 area residents converged on the Central Texas College campus to donate money and demonstrate their efforts to fight this deadly disease that affects more than 2 million Texans and another 500,000 who are undiagnosed. The diabetes walk was sponsored by the Shriners Nubia Temple 191 of Harker Heights.

“My husband, grandparents and my parents have diabetes, and I worry about my son,” said Terri Vondran of Killeen. “I am walking and raising money for Marcus, so the disease is not passed on to him.”

The walk raised more than $2,000, which will be donated to the American Diabetes Association.

The Eastern Star Devine Glory Chapter of Copperas Cove turned out in full force for the event and raised around $1,000 throughout the year to fight diabetes.

The Rev. D. Michael Jones of Pioneer Crisis Ministries in Killeen is afflicted with diabetes and said the disease has forever changed him.

“What I used to do, I can’t do anymore. The way I eat and walk — it’s all different now,” said Jones, who has lived with the disease for more than a decade and participated in the fundraising walk for six years.

“God didn’t do this to me. I did this to myself by not eating right and exercising,” said Jones, who changed his diet and increased his level of activity. “Will I ever get rid of it? Probably not. I will take it to my grave.”

Contact Wendy Sledd at or (254) 501-7476

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