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Campaign Volunteers

Haywood, age 52

  • Location Midlothian, Virginia
  • Diabetes Status Managing type 2 diabetes
  • Year Diagnosed 2005
  • Activities Basketball, walking
  • Favorite Healthy Food Salads
  • Weakness Fried chicken

Haywood’s Goals

  • Read all food labels
  • Check my blood glucose regularly
  • Walk on the treadmill for at least 20 minutes each morning and 30 minutes each night most days of the week

Listen to Haywood’s story

As a college basketball referee, I was shocked when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I thought I was eating right and exercising enough. My mother had diabetes, but I thought I was too young to get it. I went to a nutritionist and learned about controlling my portions and which foods I should stay away from. I started eating more salads and fewer fried foods, and I read food labels a lot.

Since I have diabetes, my daughters are at increased risk for the disease. And my wife is also at risk because her father had type 2 diabetes. I’m teaching my wife and daughters to read food labels too, so we’re a family of label readers now. My family is supporting my lifestyle changes by making them with me. I hope that the changes they are making will help them keep from getting diabetes in the future.


Sorcy, age 65

  • Location Elk Grove, California
  • Diabetes Status Managing type 2 diabetes
  • Year Diagnosed 1986
  • Activities Walking, playing Wii
  • Favorite Healthy Food Cantaloupe
  • Weakness Ice cream

Sorcy’s Goals

  • Check my blood glucose regularly
  • Spread out snacks over the day to manage my glucose levels
  • Do something active, like walk, garden, or play Wii for [time]

Watch Sorcy’s video   Listen to Sorcy’s story

When I found out I had diabetes, the first thing I had to do was educate myself. I attended classes to better understand what portion control and carbohydrate counting meant. Counting carbs has been especially challenging. I’m Filipino, and our basic food staple is rice. My family used to eat rice with a passion, and for family gatherings, we used to have a rice cooker that made 30 cups of rice. Now we have a 10-cup rice cooker, and everyone eats a little less.

As I educate myself about my diabetes, I teach my family about their risk for developing it. My father had diabetes and my sister has the disease, and now that I have it my other siblings know they’re at risk. By watching what I eat and managing my diabetes, I hope that I can be a good role model for my family. I know there is always the potential for complications with my diabetes, but I'm learning to manage it instead of letting it manage me.


Latecia, age 37

  • Location Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Diabetes Status Preventing type 2 diabetes
  • Activities Playing football, dancing, walking
  • Favorite Healthy Food Cucumbers and vinegar
  • Weakness Chinese food

Latecia’s Goals

  • Eat from smaller plates
  • Reward myself with sushi when we go out to eat, but keep portion control in mind
  • Get out and walk

Watch Latecia’s video

Growing up, I watched my mother battle diabetes. I knew it was a struggle, but I never quite understood the impact it had on her until I became her primary care giver. Just learning about her hardship and what she’s gone through has made me want to prevent it for me and my family. I knew that being overweight put me at higher risk for diabetes, so I made an appointment with my doctor to make a plan to get my weight under control. I began paying more attention to how much I was eating and started to get out and move more. I made time for being active with my husband and kids, like playing football when I got home from work and going for walks.

The more educated we all are about preventing diabetes, the easier it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I feel wonderful now, and I’ve lost 85 pounds. In the past, my mood was down and I had a lot of weight that I was carrying. That was just an extremely horrible feeling. Now I feel more motivated. I feel good about myself.


Holly, age 42

  • Location Northport, New York
  • Diabetes Status Had gestational diabetes, preventing type 2 diabetes
  • Activities Walking, aerobics
  • Favorite Healthy Food Raw veggies, salads
  • Weakness Chocolate, peanut butter

Holly’s Goals

  • Choose fruit to satisfy my cravings for sweets
  • Go for walks with my kids
  • Teach my family how to prevent diabetes

I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with my first child. After my baby was born, a test showed that my blood glucose went back to normal, so for a while I didn’t think any more about it. But when I had another test later on to follow up, my blood glucose was higher than normal and I found out that I had prediabetes. I was pretty surprised, and I knew I had to do something. I joined a diabetes education program at my local hospital and started making changes to what I was eating and how much exercise I was getting. I replaced my chocolate snack cake stash with fresh fruit and started taking daily walks.

The great news is that I improved my blood sugar in just a few months, and when I got pregnant again a year later, I didn’t develop gestational diabetes. Every day I still work to live a healthy life by staying active and making the right food choices. I’m definitely holding a line against the disease.


David, age 63

  • Location Fisher, Indiana
  • Diabetes Status Managing type 1 diabetes
  • Year Diagnosed 1977
  • Activities Walking, elliptical
  • Favorite Healthy Food Watermelon
  • Weakness Chocolate

David’s Goals

  • Work out in the morning—even when I’m busy
  • Take the dogs out on a walk twice a day
  • Be conscious of what I’m eating

Watch David’s videos (Video 1 Video 2)   Listen to David’s story

I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 25, during graduate school. I knew absolutely nothing about it when I was first diagnosed. I knew that it was serious, but I didn’t really understand what it was about. I learned all I could and what I needed to do to manage my diabetes. I’ve adopted a “thoughtful” diet—I’m conscious of what and how much I’m eating—and I make it a priority to exercise first thing each morning. That way, I’m sure to get it done, even when I’m busy.

The most important thing I do to manage my diabetes is test my blood glucose. Diabetes can be difficult, but it’s not a game of perfection—it’s a game of averages. I like to give myself some flexibility so that I can have a rich and rewarding lifestyle, and testing my blood sugar helps me balance out the times that I allow myself a little indulgence with times that I’m paying more attention to the rules of the game.


Sandra, age 48

  • Location Pickerington, Ohio
  • Diabetes Status Had gestational diabetes, preventing type 2 diabetes
  • Activities Walking, water aerobics
  • Favorite Healthy Food Turkey chili
  • Weakness Mexican food

Sandra’s Goals

  • Use the grill instead of frying foods
  • When eating out, split large meals with a friend
  • Stay motivated to exercise by mixing it up and trying new activities

Watch Sandra’s video

For me, preventing diabetes is about keeping history from repeating itself. My mother had diabetes, and complications of it caused her to lose her eyesight and her kidneys to fail. Diabetes may run in families, but I’m determined to break the cycle. When I was pregnant with my son, I told my doctor about my family history of diabetes and made sure I got tested for gestational diabetes (GDM). In my seventh month I found out I had GDM, but immediately I began working with my doctor to get educated and make a plan to manage it.

My son is now nine years old, and he, my husband, and I keep up our healthy habits together— whether it’s going for a walk in the park, playing soccer, or grilling out. Life is all about choices, and that's what staying healthy is really about. Making the choice to eat healthy and exercise is simple. Sticking to a plan can be challenging, but it is possible…and the fact that I’m still diabetes-free proves it!


Meet other NDEP volunteers

Haywood Sorcy Latecia Holly David Sandra



Quick Beef Casserole

Lean beef, vegetables, and rice are tossed together in this quick and easy casserole.

Quick Beef Casserole

Calories 201 • Total fat 5 g • Sodium 164 mg • Carbs 31g


Avocado Tacos

These fresh and tasty tacos are a great choice for a quick, healthy meal.

Avocado Tacos

Calories 270 • Total fat 8 g • Sodium 460 mg • Carbs 43 g


Chicken Picadillo

This zesty one-pot meal is easy to throw together on a busy weeknight.

Chicken Picadillo

Calories 162 • Total fat 5 g • Sodium 133 mg • Carbs 13 g


Chicken Ratatouille

It may be hard to say “ratatouille,” but this one-dish recipe will show you that it’s very easy to eat.

Chicken Ratatouille

Calories 266 • Total fat 8 g • Sodium 253 mg • Carbs 21 g


Mushroom Penne

A mushroom lover’s dish that makes a quick and cozy meal at home.

Mushroom Penne

Calories 418 • Total fat 10 g • Sodium 436 mg • Carbs 26 g


Corn and Black Bean Burritos

These burritos are high in flavor and easy to make.

Corn and Black Bean Burritos

Calories 189 • Total fat 3 g • Sodium 257 mg • Carbs 34 g

Family Health History & Diabetes - 4 Questions You Should Ask

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