Why I Raise Awareness for Type 2 Diabetes
When Kenny Talley first began raising money for type 2 diabetes, he was struck by the fact that so many people he talked to had a spouse, friend, or relative with the disease. It was the first time he had reached out to co-workers to join his Walk to Stop Diabetes team.
“Try asking people sometime,” the 58-year-old says. “It’s amazing how many people’s lives have been touched by diabetes.”
Talley himself was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in his late 40s.
His father, brother, and sister all have type 2 diabetes, too. Despite his family history and several years of warnings from his doctor about his increasing blood sugar levels, he dismissed the threat for a long time.
“I didn’t necessarily do the kinds of things you should do to take care of yourself,” Talley says, adding that he's now more conscious about making time to exercise and eat healthy. He says one of the reasons he's passionate about type 2 diabetes awareness is that he knows millions of people have prediabetes or diabetes but don’t have annual physicals, where a doctor might find it early.
“Now I tell people, ‘Get your blood sugar checked, get your A1C checked,’ because type 2 diabetes is, in many cases, a preventable disease if you can catch it early and change your lifestyle,” he says.
Company Culture and Type 2 Diabetes Awareness
Talley credits the philanthropic commitments of his employer, Dallas-based Womack Machine Supply, for supporting him in his type 2 diabetes awareness efforts.
“On the executive staff, everyone has an issue they are passionate about," says Talley, chief financial officer of the company. "I was looking for something I could get into." About the time of his type 2 diabetes diagnosis, the chairman of a local Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes fundraiser contacted the company to ask for support. At a colleague’s urging, Talley attended a breakfast meeting to find out more about the event.
“Since then, I’ve gotten more and more involved,” he says. “I formed a team for the Step Out walk. We were very fortunate to be one of the top raising teams for this fundraiser. The next year they asked me to be on the executive committee. Then I was chairman for the committee and on the community leadership board.” He received the Outstanding Leadership Board Member award in 2014 from the North Texas American Diabetes Association for his work on the board.
“One of the main reasons that people get involved [in diabetes awareness activities] is for personal motivation and satisfaction, as much as they do it for the desire to help the community,” says Andrea Cherrington, MD, a preventive medicine specialist and an associate professor at the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Dr. Cherrington says there are numerous benefits to being involved in such events, including knowing that you’re raising money for diabetes research, educating people about diabetes and prevention, and building networks of social support for yourself and others.
Research has shown that social support makes a difference. People with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels and diabetes better if they have strong social support, according to research published in the Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications in March 2015.
If you don’t have a support network already, getting involved in raising diabetes awareness may help you build one.
“Fundraising provides an opportunity to talk to people, build stronger relationships, and show you care," says Kristen C. Puhlman, RD, CDE, assistant project manager for the LIFT Diabetes study at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. "Community involvement can provide a sense of self-worth that you can make a difference.”
Talley recalls that he was nervous when he first began organizing a team at work and asking for donations. He recommends going slowly at first. “What I try to tell people is that anything you do helps," he says. "No amount is too small.
Video: Type 2 Diabetes Awareness Campaign
How to Make Money As a Teen Girl
Two Easy Brain Boosters
BMW-i Is The Future Of Sheer Driving Pleasure
How to Make Diwali Oil Lamps
Health Advice You Should Probably Ignore
TheList: Elsa Hosk is Your New Go-To Style Inspiration
10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Apricot Juice
The Men’s Business Travel Style Guide
Khloe Kardashian reveals her top weight loss tips
What Is Olumiant (Baricitinib)
How to Help a Friend Quit Doing Drugs
6 Ways Your Phone Can Help You Lose Weight
How to Decorate a Study Room