FYI: I’m writing this series amid tears of joy, watching the celebration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Now, back to business: This is a four-week series shared with readers during November, which is National Diabetes Month. It is posted to share with readers for three reasons. Firstly, I want to tell the story of my mother and her sufferings from Type 2 diabetes. Secondly, this series shares what mother taught us prior to her illness so you can understand her impact. Thirdly, I want you all to understand how Type 2 diabetes overwhelmed her, concluding with how her family learned steps to control and even rid our bodies of this devastating disease. I’m grateful of how it has helped people around the world. After learning about how Type 2 diabetes is caused, and found proven research to show how to control it, now I can help others.
Mother Grant suffered for 12 years with Type 2 diabetes, and with major complications as a result of her having had this disease. Christmas Day 2000 was that fateful day Mother died! This Christmas is the 20th anniversary. My family skipped Christmas for nearly 10 years. However, now, my coping switched to angelic Christmas tree ornaments. The majority of my ornaments are crystal angels, in memory of my mother!
Let’s talk about how Mother Grant prepared her girls throughout our younger lives, until adulthood, so you can hear about a small measure of her influence over our success. 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 businesswomen, doing exactly what Mother encouraged us to do. We had lots of success in the mass media, publicizing several major events such as a major festival that attracted more than 100,000 people, with major corporate sponsors and celebrities, and two presidential inaugural committees, Republican and Democrat. We worked for two D.C. mayors and three city council members; and I was appointed as project director to erect the Spirit of Freedom Memorial, a new African American Civil War memorial located in the city.
Now that Mother was gone, I went back to Trinity University to get my master’s degree in the field of communications. When writing my master’s thesis, this story was born. My Master’s Thesis topic; “How I expected this Type Diabetes campaign to become national” and it has!
For National Diabetes Month, I’m proud to announce that on Nov. 28, 2020, I’m hosting a Zoom workshop to share with my sorority sisters this same story. Our guest is Howard University Hospital’s Type 2 diabetes director, Dr. Gail Nunlee-Bland. This story lives on and will continue to live as long as I live.
Mother lost both of her legs to amputations, had kidney failure, high blood pressure and several strokes. At the young age of 61, Mother had her first major stroke that caused paralysis. She ended up in Howard University Hospital, and that’s when they discovered she had Type 2 diabetes.
After learning how to publicize an issue on a massive scale, there was no way I could see the devastation caused in the life of my mother by Type 2 diabetes and fully understand this disease, yet do nothing to share this with others.
We didn’t understand! 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, eyes, organs 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, and some others inherited a “thrifty gene” from their African ancestors.
More next week.
Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Her radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. To reach Grant, visit her website, www.lyndiagrant.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.