Sharing personal story helps others, too

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Feb. 12, 2013 at 7 p.m.
Updated Feb. 11, 2013 at 8:12 p.m.

Diabetes is a widespread problem in America. The American Diabetes Association estimates in 2011 there were about 25.8 million people, both children and adults, in the United States suffering from diabetes. Of those, the association estimates about seven million are undiagnosed. There are also 79 million people suffering from prediabetes, a condition where blood glucose levels are elevated but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

Because of the seriousness of this epidemic, we are glad to see steps taken to educate others and stop its spread. For John Griffin, a Crossroads attorney who was diagnosed with the disease in 1997, part of taking action included sharing his story in a chapter of the book "My Sweet Life: Successful Men with Diabetes." Griffin and 24 other men were chosen to tell their stories of diagnosis, treatment and acceptance of diabetes as part of their daily lives. Part of the proceeds from the book sales will go toward the American Diabetes Association.

For Griffin, diabetes became something more than a personal problem. Rather than allow his personal struggle to overtake him, he became an advocate for educating others about the disease. He has been a member of the American Diabetes Association for more than 20 years and has held many leadership positions with the group. He served as the vice chairman of the association in 2009 and as the chairman-elect in 2010. In 2011, he became the chairman of the board for the national association. He served in that post until his term ended at the beginning of this year.

We are amazed and impressed that someone from our region has become a nationally recognized advocate for health and diabetes awareness. Diabetes is a disease that can touch anyone, especially alongside America's growing obesity problem. To see one of our neighbors working to help others on such a large scale is an impressive sight, and we applaud him for all his work to raise awareness and protect the rights of those who suffer from this disease.

Thank you for your efforts and commitment to help others. We look forward to reading your story.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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