Ten percent of all Arkansans have diabetes; 2 percent higher than the National average
"I was not expecting to go to the doctor and hear this word, diabetes," Garner Hodge said.
Garner was just 10 years old when he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
"Me and my mom were just, what is this, and I mean I went to the hospital and they had to explain it and I had no idea what it was."
Now this disease plagues a quarter of a million Arkansans, 35,000 of them in Northwest Arkansas. The numbers are only growing in the area.
"The fact that 30 percent of Americans, 1 in 3 of us will be diabetic by 2050 is a hugely impactful number," Andrew Huntsinger said.
It's a growing trend Huntsinger wants to see changed. He volunteers with American Diabetes Association as the leadership board chair and is diabetic.
"There's no reason to subject yourself to this voluntarily, it's completely within your control in a lot of instances," he said.
The 11th Annual "Kiss a Pig" fundraiser Saturday night is raising money for research and to send kids like Garner to mission camps, which team them about their disease.
"It's a lot of fun. I would say that it's sort of changed my life cause without having that I would meet all these people that are going through the same thing as me," Garner said.
Despite the education, folks battling diabetes hope a cure is in sight.
"We shouldn't have to live with with this all of our lives, and hopefully we're close to ending it in one way or another," Huntsinger said.
For more staggering facts and figures check out this website from Healthy Arkansas.