In December of 2007, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I initially felt scared and confused, but then I committed to educating myself about diabetes and worked with my doctor to determine the overall diabetes treatment plan that was right for me. I began making healthier food choices, getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, regularly checking my blood-sugar levels throughout the day and taking diabetes medications, including insulin, as prescribed.
I was lucky. I had a great doctor who explained the importance of controlling my blood-sugar levels. I also have a strong support network of family and friends who have helped me take control of my diabetes and achieve my blood-sugar goals.
Living with Type 2 diabetes has not only taught me how to focus more on my overall health and well-being, but has also inspired me to raise awareness about diabetes and diabetes treatment options.
Every 17 seconds, another American is diagnosed with diabetes. We need to create greater urgency to help these people take control of their diabetes once diagnosed. We need to move quickly and think about the tools that can be made available for people living with diabetes, as well as their loved ones. That is why I’m working with the diabetes patient education group Taking Control of Your Diabetes and the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis U.S. to encourage people to Start Taking Action Now for Diabetes, or STAND.
If I can motivate one person to take steps toward controlling their diabetes and achieve their blood-sugar goals, and in turn they do the same for someone else, I know we are making an impact in the fight against uncontrolled diabetes.
I have been sharing my story all across the country, including my hometown of Los Angeles, where 642,000 people are living with diabetes. If you are one of them or if you know one of them and want to help them take action, please stop by and see me on May 21 at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the American Diabetes Assn. Expo.
I’m proud to help empower people with diabetes and let them know that they can take control of their condition, but every single one of us can be a role model. People living with diabetes, myself included, need to feel that there is a support network available to share their stories, so please join me in taking a STAND by visiting www.STANDforDiabetes.org and pledge to take an active role in your diabetes management, or encourage others to take control of their diabetes.
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