Per the JDRF website, nearly 26 million Americans, or 8.3 percent of the population, are affected by diabetes. The disease affects 371 million people worldwide.
JDRF is the leading organization doing things in order to change that, and on Monday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs hosted members of the Kansas City chapter for a health and wellness day at Arrowhead Stadium.
More than 50 JDRF members, including younger children affected by the disease, came out for the two-pronged event hosted by Chiefs cheerleaders, K.C. Wolf and Chiefs Ambassadors Shawn Barber and Anthony Davis.
"What we did with JDRF is we started off with a Play 60 station to reinforce the importance of staying active and fit," Chuck Castellano, the Chiefs director of community outreach, said. "We had some healthy snacks for them along the way. We made sure they kept hydrated and then we had the opportunity to have an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of Arrowhead Stadium, really to get to see some of the areas that not everybody gets to."
Barber showed the children what it means to prepare for a game in the locker room, while Davis showed the guests the Hall of Honor and discussed what it was like to play with Chiefs legend Derrick Thomas.
Jeff Lupardus, a father of a 16-year-old daughter named Alex with diabetes, said that was the part of the day they were the most excited about.
"We're looking towards going out on the field and seeing the stadium, going through the locker rooms and all that," he said. "JDRF opens doors that you don't typically get to walk through, which is nice."
Members of the Kansas City Chiefs Ambassadors, Shawn Barber and Anthony Davis help kids from the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation enjoy a play 60 at Arrowhead Stadium.
The JDRF board president, David Claflin, who has an 18-year-old daughter named Tucker with the disease, further explained what the organization does at Monday's event.
"JDRF is something where other people can do something," he said. "Unless you happen to be a great scientist or an endocrinologist, what can the average person do?"
Claflin highlighted what's happening at the Truman Sports Complex later this year.
"If you come out to Truman Sports Complex on October 10, you'll see we'll probably have 11 to 12,000 people all there," he said. "It's a very moving experience and you see all these people kind of pulling together raising money and that all goes to this very important research."
JDRF will host its One Walk on October 10 at the Truman Sports Complex and the event has already raised over $85,000 as of Tuesday morning.
JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Driven by passionate, grassroots volunteers connected to children, adolescents, and adults with this disease, JDRF is the largest charitable supporter of T1D research.