Faces of Diabetes

14 Nov

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and today is World Diabetes Day. To help raise awareness, we want to share the stories of people in our Diabetes Wellness program who have been impacted by this disease, and to celebrate how they manage (or prevent) it with exercise and nutrition.

Punkin Hoyt – Type 2 Diabetes

Wanting to lose weight and get her diabetes under control and with the recommendation from the Buncombe County Health Department, Punkin joined the YW Diabetes Wellness program. She has really appreciated learning lots of different ways to lose weight, and even better; keeping her weight down.  She really enjoys all the people she has met at the YW. “Everyone is so nice and considerate of others. There is always someone to help you along the way if you stumble or fall down – I had a few stumbles along the way but with the support of everyone, I got back on track.”

Cindy Anderson – Type 2 Diabetes

Cindy is 1 of 9 mentors to the YWCA Diabetes Wellness and Prevention program. Her successes are many: the loss of weight – 63#s, her A1C count at the start was over 13 and is now 6.2. But even better, she no longer is on insulin medication. Cindy credits the program “I totally believe in this program. It has made such a positive change in my life; mainly by integrating exercise into my daily routine. I started out struggling to even walk from the car to the front door of the YW and now I am an instructor here teaching various classes on land and in the water!” A true believer in weighing proper portions, she also credits healthy eating of lean protein, whole grains and lots of fruits and vegetables.

Robert Jones – Type 2 Diabetes

Depression and weight gain were the two main factors as to why Robert sought out the YWCA for help with his diabetes. He has lost both in weight and inches. Robert said that in the past he would just let life happen but now he has become more proactive and has developed a take charge attitude!  Way to go Robert!

Famia Carson – Pre-diabetes

Famia credits the skills she has learned through the Diabetes Prevention Program with helping her take better control of her life. “I was in a bad place and probably would not have left my house for fear of what other people would say about me.” Famia is a changed woman. She loves to cook so learning better ways preparing food and remembering to measure proper food portions are two key areas she emphasizes. Finding ways to stay motivated has made all the difference and Famia thanks her trainer Charley for that.

Jeff “JJ” McMikens – Type 2 Diabetes

“Don’t Quit!” and “build on your small successes.” These are just two affirmations JJ likes to quote when talking about his life and living with diabetes.  JJ will tell you that he struggled in the beginning. He began with walking on the treadmill eventually adding weight resistance work to his routine. He credits his involvement with Mission Hospital’s diabetes self-care course and the time spent with the pharmacist as extremely helpful.  JJ likes to point out that he has gone from taking 13 pills daily to 2. He feels the cooking classes and support group taught him the skills to become better at meal planning and with portion control. “I am an active participant in my own life.”  By participating in this program, his confidence level has grown. He has participated in walk-a-thons and on average, walks 2-3 miles a day. In fact, his success has motivated his daughter to take action and she has reported a drop of 6 sizes in her clothes! Congrats to you both!

For more information about the YWCA Diabetes Wellness and Prevention program, contact Director of Preventive Health Susan Kettren at 254-7206 x 212 or susan.kettren@ywcaofasheville.org.

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