Letters: Focus on diabetes, Red Cross

March 27, 2014 

Take part in diabetes alert day

There are many faces of diabetes – it can affect anyone regardless of age, ethnicity or social status. In type 2 diabetes, often symptoms do not appear until it’s too late. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to deadly complications – including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputation.

Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. A quarter of those with the disease – 7 million – are unaware they have it. Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to Stop Diabetes.

March 25 is the 26th annual American Diabetes Association Diabetes Alert Day, held every fourth Tuesday in March as a “wake-up call” asking everyone to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The test’s algorithm is adjusted to align with contemporary and accurate scoring system that enables the public to better assess their risk for type 2 diabetes.

One way to do this is by joining one of the Association’s Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes events, primarily held in October. We’re encouraging you to visit our Facebook, diabetes.org/risktest, or call 1-800-DIABETES for information. Local Walgreens pharmacies will offer a copy of the Diabetes Risk Test. Although Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test is available year-round.

Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by losing 7 percent of body weight (such as 15 pounds if you weigh 200) through regular physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week) and healthy eating. For people who have already been diagnosed with diabetes – type 1 or type 2 – these same lifestyle changes can make a significant difference in diabetes management.

I strongly urge your to take the Diabetes Risk Test and share the test with everyone you care about - friends, family members and colleagues. “Take It. Share It. Step Out.”

Edna F. Sherer

Associate programs manager for American Diabetes Association

March is Red Cross Month

March is Red Cross Month and the American Red Cross of the Upper Palmetto Chapter would like to take this opportunity to thank our volunteers and supporters for enabling us to provide our vital services to our communities.

The Red Cross provides the needed services to help those who have been displaced by local fires and other disasters. Because of our organization, we give hope and change lives of those who depend on us in their time of need. Red Cross is fueled by the trust of the American people. Without their willingness to donate time, blood, dollars and leadership, our services could not continue.

Last year in York, Chester and Lancaster counties, we responded to 100 disasters and helped 546 individuals. We trained 3,197 people in lifesavings courses such as CPR/AED and First Aid. We kept 215 military families connected to their loved ones during a crisis situation and 6,229 people donated blood. The vital work could not be done without the dedication and support of our volunteers who selflessly give of their time. The Red Cross is a true volunteer organization!

March is a great time to become part of the Red Cross by doing such things as developing a preparedness plan for the household, becoming a volunteer, giving blood, taking a Red Cross class and making a financial donation to support Red Cross services to our community.

Sen. Wes Hayes

Board chairman of Upper Palmetto Chapter

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