From Patient to Advocate

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I think when you finally experience it first hand that's when you understand what this person is dealing with and that's when you actually start getting involved and actually want to make a difference, but unfortunately it has to be when you experience it like that. When I started volunteering with the American Diabetes Association I was doing a lot of community events, I was at an event and I had this older lady come up to me and she wanted information about diabetes.

As I was talking to her, I saw that she had a Coca Cola bottle in her hand and I asked her, do you know, are you diabetic, or do you know somebody that has diabetes? She's like, I'm diabetic and I tested my sugar this morning it was at 300, I don't know why I'm like standing there looking at her with the soda on her hand I'm like I think know why but I see that a lot.

I think it's important to go out there and to tell people, not just the warning signs or the complications, but to show them how to live a health life. Once I started working with the Diabetes Association, I started getting a lot of the information that I was lacking. I mean, I would go to the doctor and they would tell me, we'll do this, change this, but once I actually got the tools and I was actually shown like this is what your plate should look like.

This is what is going to happen with you if you don't check your sugar and if you don't manage it, you're going to lose your eyesight. You're going to lose your feet, or you won't have to do anything, that's when I realized, I need to change this, I have the tools now. And I love talking to people and I'll tell anybody and everybody.