By Justin Udo

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

“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.

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.”

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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