BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It affects children and adults alike. Nearly 26 million Americans are fighting diabetes. That’s outpacing cancer, AIDS and heart disease.

But next weekend (Oct. 5), thousands in Baltimore will take steps to find a cure.

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Mary Bubala has more.

It’s called Step Out: The Walk to Stop Diabetes. The event will bring thousands to Rash Field at the Inner Harbor to raise money to find a cure.

Ashleigh Gerber, 10, will be there with her parents. She has Type 1 diabetes and is proud to be this year’s youth ambassador.

“I like getting the word out to people and it’s just fun speaking at different events,” said Gerber.

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“We’re so proud of her. She’s taking it on headstrong and showing people even though she has diabetes, you can do whatever you want,” said Renee and Michael Gerber, Ashleigh’s parents.

Ashleigh was diagnosed three years ago. There have been ups and downs, but she remains really active and has adjusted well to her diagnosis. She uses a small insulin pump called an OmniPod to regulate her condition.

It’s breakthroughs like this that inspire so many people to walk and raise money. Some others are doing it to raise awareness about the other type of diabetes: Type 2.

If the current trends continue, one in three children born in Maryland will develop diabetes in his or her lifetime.

“Over 400,000 Marylanders are impacted, so it’s a big disease, an epidemic. So we are bringing awareness to the community,” said Kerry Graves, ADA Maryland. “We are also raising money for research programs and advocacy.”

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To learn more about Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes, click here.