Tomorrow, we’re having our second meeting of the Faith Fighting Diabetes Action Team. And I’m really excited, because I have some great news to share about an Information Session we had with a group of about 100 Hispanic people at my church this past Sunday.
If you’re new to this site, let me fill you in briefly about Faith Fighting Diabetes. This past summer, I met with some folks at my local hospital about forming a group that would target faith communities and provide them with information about diabetes.
I wanted to equip local faith leaders so that they could help their congregations either avoid this disease, or better care for themselves if they have been diagnosed. Statistics show that people trust their faith leaders more than they do their doctors.
In October of last year, a large group of ministers, priests and faith community leaders met to discuss this important topic. Yesterday’s Hispanic outreach was our first effort at a church, and it was a great success 🙂
The Director of our hospital’s Diabetes Center did a PowerPoint presentation, all in Spanish. As she spoke in English, the participants followed along with the PowerPoint.
I think the thing that jarred the participants the most was her opening line. One out of every two Hispanic children born in the year 2010 will develop diabetes by the time they reach adulthood. That’s right, 50%.
Now, if you were a parent sitting in that audience, I hope you would be startled by such a statistic. I know I am every time I hear it. Sadly, the number plays out the same for African-Americans.
Susan continued through her information, touching upon the causes of diabetes, what a person can do to avoid the illness, and how it’s treated if someone is diagnosed. A question and answer session took place when she was done, thanks to the assistance of a couple of translators.
Next, a risk assessment form was distributed. A person’s answers determined the risk level they had for diabetes. Anyone in the high risk category was then given information about a free screening our hospital is doing for them later this month. When it was all said and done, nearly half the group signed up.
I’m so grateful to the leadership of Carroll County Hospital Center for providing this outreach. Many Hispanic people lack the resources/insurance to cover this screening. As you may know, if someone has diabetes, early treatment and education will allow them to live healthy, happy and productive lives.
Those whose diabetes goes undetected for years don’t fare as well.
If you’re interested, please take the risk assessment yourself. Here’s a copy. If you find that you’re in the high risk category, please make an appointment with your health care provider.
I don’t know about you, but I’m always excited when I’m a part of something just getting started, especially something as important as Faith Fighting Diabetes. I hope that those fifty some people being tested in a few weeks all come back negative. If the statistics are correct, that probably won’t happen.
At least a few of these folks, and maybe a lot more, will test positive. And people will be there to help them get the treatment and information they need. It will be up to these newly diagnosed to become their own best advocate and begin taking care of themselves.
Here’s a challenge for you: Are you doing anything to make a positive difference in the lives of others? If not, find something to get involved with. Do it soon.