Currently, over 38 million people in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes and that number continues to rise both nationally and in your community. In fact, Skagit County’s diabetes prevalence rate is 11%, making it 2% higher than the Washington State average of 9%, meaning that there is a higher prevalence of diabetes and an increased need for diabetes education and resources for your community.
A diabetes diagnosis can touch an entire family. Anacortes resident, Morgan* doesn’t have diabetes, but some of his family members and friends do. His story is an example of the impact diabetes has on our nation, our state and our community:
I remember the Thanksgiving after my dad was diagnosed with diabetes. I looked up recipes that would be better for his glucose levels and changed traditional recipes to accommodate. His diabetes diagnosis affected our whole family’s eating habits.
My uncle has diabetes too. He has had multiple toes amputated because of it and has lost his ability to drive because he can’t feel the gas pedal. He is way more isolated. If he wants to see a friend, or go somewhere, he has to ask his wife to drive him. She is his caregiver now.
Recently, a neighbor from my childhood, who was only six years older than me, died due to diabetic ketoacidosis. She was in her mid-40’s and was teacher and collegiate basketball coach. It’s heartbreaking.
Morgan is not alone. Diabetes is all around us, but thanks to generous support like yours, hope is available through the Diabetes Education Program at Island Health.
Island Health is committed to bettering diabetes care. Your support of diabetes education is one way that you are making that commitment possible. Philanthropic support of diabetes education ensures that patients in your community have continued access to support from a certified Diabetes Education Specialist like Amanda Lungren, MPH, RDN, CDCES.
Lungren provides diabetes education and resources for patients via classes and individual sessions. An individual education session with Lungren can cover a wide variety of topics including nutrition and diabetes, diabetes physiology and medications, lifestyle and ongoing support to help patients adjust and improve their health. In an individual session, Lungren will ask:
What do you know? What do you want to know?
And how can I best support you?
Philanthropy is helping to ensure that patients and their loved ones can make the best choices on how to navigate the complexities of diabetes with confidence and resilience, empowering them to strive for a healthier, more fulfilling life.
Your support has a made a tangible difference in the lives of diabetic patients and their families in your community by helping to provide these essential resources, expert guidance, and accessible educational opportunities. Thank you!
*Name changed to protect the anonymity of community member’s relationships.