The sixth annual Palmerton 5K "Diabetes Dash" will start at 9 a.m. on Sept. 28.

Formerly known as the Palmerton 5K Run/Walk for Diabetes, the annual event raises thousands of dollars for the American Diabetes Association each year. The goal of the ADA is to prevent, cure and manage diabetes.

The 5K is founded and organized by volunteer Carla Majczan, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in childhood.

"People think that if they do something small, it won't have an impact. But by banding together, we can let others hear how important this is," she said. "The bigger the event gets, the more people will pay attention."

Diabetes is a disease that is characterized by high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can cause serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke and damage to the eyes, skin or nerves. Diabetes can be diagnosed with a simple blood test.

Common symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, extreme hunger or thirst, fatigue, blurry vision, and cuts or bruises that are slow to heal.

"A lot of people don't know the signs of diabetes," added Majczan. "They also don't realize how exercise affects it."

Exercise and a healthy diet can help to treat and possibly prevent diabetes in many cases. Majczan sees the physical aspect of the 5K as very important, as it encourages people to get moving and raise awareness of the effect exercise can have on diabetes.

"I'm an avid exerciser. I've seen how much exercise helps me put my sugars in control," she said. "I struggle with diabetes all the time, especially as I get older. But the things that t you can control, like exercise and eating healthy, can help you maintain a life that doesn't fit a typical diabetes mold."

She noted that they are also looking for additional volunteers to help with the event.

"We can always use people," she said. "It would be nice to have a good group of people from the Palmerton community, who can't run and don't want to walk, who could be part of this in another way."

Event registration will be accepted up to the day of the race, but a reduced entry fee is offered to those who register before Sept. 1. T-shirts are guaranteed to the first 100 participants.

Participants can register online at www.diabetes.org/palmerton5K or www.active.com.

A printed registration form is available by contacting Majczan.

For more information or to request a printed registration form, contact Majczan at (610) 390-2086 or withdrawn88@yahoo.com.