Diabetes affects roughly one of every three children born after 2000 in the United States. (Courtesy photo)
Diabetes affects roughly one of every three children born after 2000 in the United States. (Courtesy photo)

This is a five-part series, published now for a third time since 2003, posted to help readers sufferings from Type 2 diabetes. This series is in memory of my mother.

After learning the cause and effects, now I can help others. My mother suffered for 12 years with Type 2 diabetes and with many complications that resulted from her having had this disease. She died on Christmas Day in 2000.

This campaign kicked off at Trinity University as my communications professor asked each of us in the class to come up with a national public relations campaign. This topic was selected by me as my master’s thesis. My professor told me, “I expect each of you to create campaigns that are real, and they can someday become national!”

This campaign is now national, published by the National Newspaper Publishers Association and Black Press USA!

Mother lost both of her legs to amputations. She had kidney failure and suffered several strokes, with the first major stroke leaving her paralyzed. She ended up in Howard University Hospital, and that’s when they discovered she had Type 2 diabetes.

My sisters and I lived together, worked together in business, and now we were going through this battle for life with our mother. During her younger years, she taught us well! Throughout our lives, we had been blessed, becoming successful business women, doing exactly what mother encouraged us to do. We’d had lots of success in the mass media, publicizing several major events such as festivals with 100,000 people, corporate sponsors and celebrities, two presidential inaugurations (Republican and Democrat), two D.C. mayoral inaugurations and three D.C. City Council member campaigns.

After learning how to publicize issues on a massive scale, there was no way I could see the devastation caused in the life of my mother by Type 2 diabetes, fully understand this disease, and do nothing to share this with others.

We didn’t understand what had happened to her, nor did we know how or why it happened! Could we have done something differently? We didn’t know how an improved diet with extremely limited amounts of sugar with major reductions in eating carbohydrates and getting regular physical exercise could have made a difference in her life. Now that I’ve learned from her doctor, from research, from the National Institute of Health, from Johns Hopkins and American Diabetes Association and others, I must share this good news with you!

What exactly is Type 2 diabetes? Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases characterized by high levels of blood glucose. It results from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both; and too much inflammation is in your body.

For those of you who refuse to follow the rules, Type 2 diabetes can be associated with serious complications such as losing toes, a foot, legs and more. Plus it brings on premature death, as in the case of my Mom.

On the other hand, people with Type 2 diabetes can turn this thing around; how, by taking measures to reduce the likelihood of such.

According to recent studies found by the National Institute of Health (NIH), some researchers believe that African-Americans inherited a “thrifty gene” from their African ancestors.

The study sited how years ago, this gene enabled Africans to use food energy more efficiently when food was scarce. Today, we eat very much the same as we did back during slavery times in America, but without strenuous exercise, which now causes Type 2 diabetes.

The problem dates back to the beginning of the slave trade, beginning in 1790. (More next week)

Lyndia Grant is an author, inspirational and motivational speaker, radio talk show host and columnist. Visit her website, www.lyndiagrantshow.com or contact her at 240-602-6295. Tune in Fridays at 6 p.m. to “The Lyndia Grant Show” on Spirit 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station.

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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