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Oct 31, 2019

Healthy Living: Diabetes Walk

In November, the Belize Diabetes Association will be spearheading a number of activities to help spread awareness on how to prevent and manage diabetes. The first event will take place this weekend. You’ll get all the details in tonight’s Healthy Living.

 

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

When we first met Deandre Dawson, he was twelve years old and learning life-saving skills at the Annual Diabetes Camp.

 

Deandre Dawson

Deandre Dawson, Diabetic [File: July 31st, 2017]

“The most important thing about a balanced meal is getting healthy; exercise when your sugar is high, or sometimes it goes high and you exercise.”

 

Deandre is a juvenile diabetic. At the age of four, he was diagnosed with type-one diabetes meaning his body was unable to produce insulin to regulate his blood sugar. Deandre explains that growing up with diabetes was not an easy condition control.

 

Deandre Dawson

“You know the diet, you know fi balance your diet with all the sweets around, you can’t ignore it. It’s tempting it’s difficult at a young age. When I was younger I’d go and steal the sweets out of the fridge (laugh) I have to laugh because it was very difficult you know but thanks to the good lord once you give him praise and thanks you have to manage this thing.”

 

Marleni Cuellar

“So you no steal the sweets anymore?”

 

Deandre Dawson

“No ma’am. No sweets in the fridge no more. (Laugh)”

 

While his childhood experience is laughable now, Deandre had many severe complications due to his struggle to control his blood sugar. One hospital stay even caused him to change schools.

 

Deandre Dawson

“I was at Wesley college at first in the second year I had gotten really sick where I had to miss almost a whole month of school. That messed me up in the end. I just transferred at the time. It felt bad at the time, but you just have to get over it. Cause it’s life, you know. You were sick with? I think it was I had gotten ketoacidosis, and I think went into a coma at that time. And that’s what affect me in second form at Wesley college. So I went in third at Maud, and I finish it off right there. Now that I’m eighteen, it’s easier than first. It’s very easy. I know when it’s low, I know when it’s high. I know to take my insulin, everything take it myself. So it’s easy for me.  When you get older, you. You make better choices. You have that mature mind, and you control yourself then. Yes, you make better decisions, you know.”

 

And he wants to help others make healthier decisions too. So he volunteers at the very association that helped him through his childhood struggle.

 

Deandre Dawson

“With this association, it’s not expensive for me cause we get free supplies, so it’s very cheap for us cause at the drug store if you buy it. It’s very expensive. So thanks to the association, we’re very grateful or that. Us as the older ones living with the condition we can teach the younger youths and you know like give then heads up on what to eat, what not treat or how much to eat to not develop the condition.  We’ve had a couple friends passed like few years ago. It breaks our hearts. They were very close to us. So we use that to show the kids that diabetes is disease that you have to keep an eye on. You can’t just not pay it any mind. You have to keep a case yet on it because it creeps on you.”

 

Using his own life experience, Deandre works along with the Belize diabetes association advocating for diabetics and all Belizeans to live a healthy lifestyle.

 

Deandre Dawson

“The other day, we were testing at the market on market day. And so a lady sugar was high. So she said, every time she wants to drinks something, she drinks a coke. We had to tell her cause every time its coke, coke, coke. Her sugar was high. Those things raises your sugar, so you have to limit it. Drink more water. That’s mostly what you have to do, a balance diet, exercise that’s all you have to do to manage the condition or not to have the condition. If you want to live, you have to manage the condition. Take it seriously. You don’t take it seriously; it’s just life and death.”

 

In November, the association is spearheading education and fundraising activities. The first takes place on Saturday, November second.

 

Deandre Dawson

“That’s why we have the walk to bring out everyone. To let them know they are not alone. There are others too who have the same condition as them and going through the same thing.    The walk is this Saturday. A bus will leave ITVET at 5:30 and one at 5:45 for who wants to attend. It’s five miles up the Phillip Goldson highway back down to ITVET.”

 

The T-shirts are for sale at twenty-five dollars each. The next activity will with the ride out diabetes fundraiser scheduled for November ninth and tenth.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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