Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne will be a celebrity walker and speaker for “Move Your Moccasins,” a community health education event organized by the Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb. The event is a pilot program for Native Americans to fight diabetes. Kilcoyne, who is interim dean of Northwestern State University’s College of Business and Technology, will tell Move Your Moccasins participants about how diabetes affected her family.
Move Your Moccasins will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 23 at the Choctaw-Apache Tribal Grounds. The event is free and open to the public and will include a diabetes awareness walk, health tips, t-shirts and more. Participants can have their blood pressure checked before the walk and pick up information on nutrition, exercise and the Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb.
“Our lives were impacted by diabetes when my mother, Polly Lou Sepulvado, was diagnosed with it at the age 45,” Kilcoyne said. “Initially, it was controlled by diet and medication, but then it progressed to insulin and diet. She suffered with it until her death in 1999 at the age of 75.”
Kilcoyne believes that years of taking medication to control diabetes affected her mother’s body.
“She had a stroke in 1997 and never recovered from it. When my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer in January of 1995, we found out that he had diabetes, too, and never knew it. He died in April 5, 1995, from liver failure,” she said. “For me, I have tried to eat healthfully and exercise every day.”
Move Your Moccasins has put forth the challenge for individuals to walk 10,000,000 steps by Sept. 1. A display board at the tribal office will include monthly updates on steps and walkers will be eligible for a $100 drawing at a September cancer walk.
Kilcoyne will join another celebrity walker, Sherri Talley of KTBS Channel 3-Shreveport, at the event. The two were track teammates as undergraduates at Northwestern State.
The Choctaw-Apache Tribal Grounds are located at 217 Gene Knight Road, Noble. In case of rain, Move Your Moccasins will be held at Ebarb High School. For information on the event, contact Amelia Procell Rivers at (318) 645-2588.