The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

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November 5, 2013

Walk raises awareness about diabetes, ways to live with disease

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 — Ten years ago Pauly Almond found out she had diabetes.

In the past few months she discovered her medication might no longer be enough to keep it under control.

Saturday she had the chance to ask questions about what her next step should be.

At the Diabetes Walk, hosted by Stanly Regional Medical Center (SRMC) at the YMCA Cannon Memorial Park, Almond and about 200 other people got the opportunity to ask questions about diabetes and discover resources to handle it.

“My doctor has maxed me out on both my medications so I’m afraid that insulin will be next,” Almond explained to Andrea Hutto, a diabetes educator from the insulin company Sonafi.

Sonafi’s table was one of 10 different booths set up along the sidewalk that loops around the park for the event.

As they made laps around the park, walkers could stop at the booths they were interested in to find out more.

Almond wanted to find out more about insulin.

“I don’t really fear insulin, it’s more what I’ve heard about diabetes when it gets to this point,” Almond told Hutto.

Almond’s mother went through several complications with her own diabetes later in life.

“Insulin is actually a way to cut down on those side effects of diabetes,” Hutto said.

Hutto talked with Almond about what goes on within a diabetic’s body and how insulin can help with it.

“(The Diabetes Walk) has been a help,” Almond said.

“I was concerned about this and now I know a little more.”

The walk fostered similar question and answer sessions throughout the park.

Christopher Szluk, of insulin company Nova Nordisk, answered questions about insurance and payment options.

Lora Brooks, of Lilly USA Pharmaceuticals, shared information about diabetic nutrition.

Dianne Billings, from the YMCA, encouraged the walkers to just be active.

Alliance Medical had a display of diabetic footwear.

“What’s the difference between orthotic shoes and normal ones?” Bobbie Frick asked John Boing of Alliance Medical.

“It’s as much about prevention as anything else,” Boing said as he moved on to explain.

Angie Charles and Jennifer Rawlings, both dieticians and diabetes educators at SRMC, said the walk had a great turnout this year.

“November is diabetes month so we always try to kick off with this,” Rawlings said.

This is SRMC’s seventh year hosting the walk.

“It started off as a way to celebrate the fact that you can live healthy with diabetes,” said Charles, who is also the assistant director of quality at SRMC.

“We want to encourage people to get out and exercise,” Rawlings said.

While they certainly hope that people also get some good information, overall she said the event is meant to give people with diabetes and those who support them the chance to have a good time.

“People call and sign up for T-shirts, come out to get some free stuff, talk with everybody,” Rawlings said.

SRMC also had bingo going on and music playing to keep everyone upbeat.

“We try to provide them with some things that are more fun than just straight education. We’re trying to keep it light and easy,” Rawlings said.

“They’ve done a great job,” Almond said.

To submit story ideas, contact Shannon Beamon at (704) 982-2121 ext. 24 or at shannon@stanlynews press.com.

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