By Justin Udo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –— One of the largest diabetes awareness walks in the country took place this morning right here in Philadelphia.

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“Today, Philadelphia is officially declaring its independence from the diabetes epidemic,” says Ann Meredith, the executive director of the American Diabetes Association.

Meredith says 16% of Philadelphians have diabetes. That’s 6% higher than the national average.

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So, on its annual walk this morning, the ADA fought back against diabetes. Even the cold and rain could not dampen the spirits of the thousands of folks making the one-mile walk that started and finished at the Art Museum steps.

Walking for diabetes awareness at the Art Museum. (Credit: Justin Udo)

Walking for diabetes awareness at the Art Museum. (Credit: Justin Udo)

“I’m so proud of the people that showed up today, despite the bad weather,” said one of the walkers. “It feels wonderful to be so supported by such a wonderful community.”

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The event also gave participants a chance to get diabetes and health information from different vendors. Those who braved the weather were also treated to a free concert after the walk.

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