Dancing your heart out for diabetes awareness in Duluth

By KBJR News 1

March 16, 2014 Updated Mar 16, 2014 at 10:48 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - A common cause of type two diabetes is obesity. Nearly a hundred Northlanders worked out hard Sunday to keep that cause of the disease away.

That nearly irresistible combination of sound and motion is called Zumba. It's a Latin American flavored exercise program.

"The person who started Zumba was a gentleman who was teaching an exercise class and forgot his music at home," said Zumba dancer Donna Bergsten, "and went out and got Latin music out of his car and off it went."

These dancers at Clyde Iron in Duluth are going off against diabetes and raising money to fight the disease.

"Right now, we have about 27 million people in the U.S. who have diabetes," said Stacy Colich of St. Luke's Hospital, "which equates to one out of every eight or nine Americans."

Type 1 diabetes is the kind that most often strikes children and young people.

Type 2 affects 95% of diabetics and is the kind that can be minimized through diet and exercise; hence this sweat–inducing Zumba work out.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include "increased thirst, more trips to the bathroom, tiredness and sometimes sores that aren't healing," said Colich.

These people with Zumba fever tell us this dance is not just an empty gesture in the fight against diabetes.

"It's really helping those in Minnesota and nationally to be able to advance technology–wise and medication–wise," said Colich.

Donna Bergsten hopes this Zumba party dances her into the unemployment line.

"I work for St. Luke's Diabetes Care and I'm hoping to work myself out of a job with all the fundraising we do in trying to eradicate diabetes," laughed Bergsten.

Want to eradicate diabetes but have two left feet when it comes to dancing?

The Duluth branch of the American Diabetes Association will hold a walk–a–thon at the Miller Hill Mall on March 29th.

Dave Anderson