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Finding a Diabetes Cure is Personal for Dundalk Woman

Barb Stokes is holding a diabetes fundraiser Saturday at Elliott's Pour House.

Barb Stokes is on a personal mission to wipe out diabetes.

The Dundalk resident believes the disease takes a back seat to more "serious" illnesses and doesn't get the fundraising and research attention it deserves.

"My mom was a very early breast cancer survivor and I support cancer efforts," Stokes said. "But diabetes takes out more people. You hear someone died of kidney failure, but that kidney failure was probably caused by diabetes."

The disease also causes heart failure, blindness, neuropathy (which can cause foot complications), skin infections and other skin disorders and high blood pressure, according to the American Diabetes Association website.

Like her connection to breast cancer, Stokes' passion for finding a cure for diabetes is personal.

Her daughter, Stepahnie Bentz, 29, was diagnosed with the disease when she was 9.

Bentz now wears an insulin pump, but prior to receiving the device, she endured up to eight injections of insulin per day to keep her illness under control.

While many people believe diabetes is a "minor" illness, it is the seventh leading cause of death in the United states, according to the ADA.

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower-limb amputations and new cases of blindness among adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To do her part in finding a cure, Stokes is holding a fundraiser on Aug. 18 at Elliot's Pour House on Hudson Street in Baltimore.

A $5 donation at the door gets participants half-price draft beers from 3 to 8 p.m. and $1 discounts on canned and bottled beer and mixed drinks.

DJ Kenny E will provide music, and a cornhole tournament will begin at 4 p.m.

Raffle drawings will be held throughout the event. Many individuals and businesses have donated items, ranging from a flat-screen television to a $100 tattoo gift certificate.

"There is a wide range of prizes—there's something for everyone," Stokes said.

Everything was donated, so every cent raised will benefit the Step Out for a Cure Baltimore/American Diabetes Association, she said.

Asked if she had a target amount she would like to raise, Stokes said, "Enough to find a cure."

"You have to dream big," she said.

Event Details:

What: Support a Cure for Diabetes

When: 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 18

Where: Elliott's Pour House, 3718 Hudson St.

Cost: $5 donation at the door (entitles participants to drink discounts)

Benefits: Step Out for a Cure Baltimore/American Diabetes Association


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