A Battle to Halt the Diabetes Epidemic (Conclusion)

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. — Hosea 4:6

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. — Hosea 4:6

For the past five weeks, I have shared with you, the readers, the story of my family’s struggle with Type 2 diabetes. We all suffered the great loss of our mother, Fannie Estelle Hill Grant, in such a horrific manner. Mother only lived 12 years after her diagnosis. Here is the continuation of her story.

She lost both of her legs; she was extremely sad and depressed. Who wouldn’t be? You live your entire life walking around and healthy for the most part, only to end your life without legs. Mother had kidney dialysis, high blood pressure and seven strokes in 12 years. She was only 61 when she had her first major stroke, which resulted in paralysis.

Let me conclude this series with words I heard during an interview back in 2014. Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, answered a caller during his Sept. 14, 2014 C-SPAN interview with the following question and answer.

The caller said: “My mother had triggered diabetes. I don’t recall what type it was. I have a brother and sister that are 10 years older than I am. They both take insulin shots and have had difficulties with this disease. Here I am so far in my life, I’ve been disease-free of sugar diabetes. This genetic makeup – if they have the gene and I don’t, I would like to know why I succeeded in life without becoming a victim of that.”

Rodgers answered by saying, “Our genetic makeup says a lot about what we are likely to become. You may or may not have the same risk because we have two parents and you inherit half of your genes from one parent and half from the other. It could be that that susceptibility gene you may have been lucky to not inherit. A lot has to do with our environment, how much we are exposed to, what we eat.

As it turns out, in Type 2 diabetes, our environment begins even earlier. For studies we have funded, both in our NIH Phoenix Branch and other sites nationally, determines that our environment begins in utero. A mother who develops Type 2 diabetes or who has diabetes during pregnancy, the infant born to that mother when they have diabetes is more likely to develop diabetes later on in life than an infant born to that same mother who was not affected with just a small diabetes – known as gestational diabetes. There is something in our environment we are trying to understand. That’s another factor to be considered. Of course, if it runs in your family, that does put you at higher risk. It sounds like you’re doing the right thing and you are being checked periodically to determine whether you have any signs of it. A good prescription, however, is exercise and maintaining your weight at a level that your doctor approves?”

I wanted to share this with you, just to conclude. It may not be our fault, when it is in our genes, which shows even more why early detection is important. Type 2 diabetes did run in my mother’s family, but it wasn’t discussed very much; they really didn’t understand what they needed to know and share, which is why I’ve taken the bull by the horns. I have promised to tell this story for the rest of my life. I want everybody to know: Griffin said a good prescription is: 1 – Get checked early and regularly; 2 – learn how to eat properly when you discover you are a candidate; and 3 – exercise and lose weight!

When you follow this simple 1-2-3 plan, you will save yourself and your loved ones from experiencing a life filled with pain, unnecessary suffering and regrets.

Lyndia Grant is on Radio One, WYCB-AM, 1340, Fridays at 6 p.m. Call 202-518-3192; email

Lyndia Grant is on Radio One, WYCB-AM, 1340, Fridays at 6 p.m. Call 202-518-3192; email

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Lyndia Grant

A seasoned radio talk show host, national newspaper columnist, and major special events manager, Lyndia is a change agent. Those who experience hearing messages by this powerhouse speaker are changed forever!

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