DIABEATTHIS was first put together last spring when one of Texas Wesleyan’s students, Garrison Hawley, passed away suddenly.

He was a Type 1 diabetic, and from his illness and death the Wesleyan community, its students and staff wanted to be able to give back to the community but did not have a specific plan until the idea of the DIABEATTHIS Health Awareness Festival was conceived. It will occur Saturday, Oct. 5, at locations throughout the campus.

One of the leaders of the group, Michael Chaney, has been involved heavily in putting the whole event together and has been planning to get the message out regarding health awareness.

The Rambler caught up with Chaney, who was diagnosed almost four fours ago as a diabetic.

“I found out the hard way,” he related, “because I thought I just had a stomach virus, but in the end I was rushed to the emergency room where I was later diagnosed as a diabetic.”

Since he discovered he had the condition, he has had to deal with many different side effects with prescription drugs along and a specialized diet.

“I don’t want anybody else finding out the way I did and having to deal with these things on a daily basis,” said Chaney.

The DIABEATTHIS festival will feature a silent auction which will have many donated items from a signed guitar by Aerosmith, to tickets to a two-night stay at Great Wolf lodge as well as dozens of other giveaways.

“In addition to those prizes,” continued, Chaney, “there will be an activity zone which will have a 100-foot zipline, 32-foot rock wall climbing area, a fitness zone, and lots of other fun activities.”

Also at the festival are several bans with live music, free health screenings and multiple ethnic food vendors.

The group already has raised $12,000 and hopes to raise $20,000-plus from the Oct. 5 event.  There are plans to make this a yearly festival with expectation of growth annually and to be an informative and fun-filled activity for Texas Wesleyan and the local community.

For more information or to volunteer, please contact Chaney at mchaney@txwes.edu. [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]