PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Nearly 11 percent of Philadelphians have diabetes; close to three percent higher than the national average, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Because of that, thousands took part in the ADA’s annual Step Out; Walk to Stop Diabetes on the Ben Franklin Parkway Saturday morning.

There were group exercises, dances and then a walk around the Art Museum area raising money and awareness towards combating diabetes.

Among the walkers was tennis great Billie Jean King, a type two diabetic. She says after retirement a lot of athletes don’t take good care of themselves.

“Tend to be so happy that we don’t have to work out so hard and so intensely. A lot of us will just let it go and not care and get heavy and overweight and not want to look at anything to do with sports or exercise or anything.”

But she says she worked to control her blood sugar and so did State Senator Anthony Hardy Williams.

“I lost 67 pounds so far. And my diabetic symptoms have been dramatically reduced to where I don’t have to take insulin. So there’s something you can do, you don’t have to suffer with it,” says Williams.

The goal is to raise $600,000 for the American Diabetes Association and donations are accepted until the end of the month.

Reported By Tim Jimenez, KYW Newsradio

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