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Lifestyle // Proof Positive
MidWeek Staff

Battling A Silent Killer

By Mia Noguchi, advisory board member, American Diabetes Association

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has been serving Hawaii for 71 years as a nonprofit organization dedicated to its mission to prevent and cure diabetes and improve the lives of those affected by diabetes.

Through the years, the Hawaii organization has made significant progress thanks to a dedicated group of volunteer community leaders and advisory board members, five of whom sit on ADA National Committees and two who sit on the National Board of Directors.

Dr. Laurie Tom and Dr. Jane Kadohiro are just two of many names that come to mind who have contributed to bringing awareness to the important work of ADA.

The success is also the result of leadership by the association’s executive director Leslie Lam and her dedicated staff who work with community partners, volunteers, and supporters.

Much effort has been put forth, but we are still battling the silent killer known as diabetes. In Hawaii alone, it is estimated that there are more than 113,000 people with the disease, 28,000 of whom remain undiagnosed.

It will take everyone’s effort to stop diabetes, and here are five first steps you can take to help:

1. Learn the symptoms of the disease and get tested to make sure you do not have an undiagnosed case. Living with undiagnosed diabetes could create further health complications in anyone with the disease.

2. Take advantage of resources provided by ADA. There are many programs offered for those living with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and an entire library of information to help you learn about disease prevention and management.

3. Join a health, wellness or fitness program to live a proactive lifestyle, to help prevent the onset or progression, anddiabetes and its complications.

4. Make a donation that will go toward research for a cure and local programs.

5. Volunteer to help out at any of the events or community outreach organizations that promote awareness and generate funds that help keep our local organization strong.

We believe a diabetes-free life is not far away, and encourage everyone to get involved, because only together can we stop diabetes. For more information, call 947-5979 or visit diabetes.org/hawaii.

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