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Diabetes awareness is crucial for health

Sooke Harbourside Lion Jeannette Umbach with a Change for Diabetes tin. - Pirjo Raits
Sooke Harbourside Lion Jeannette Umbach with a Change for Diabetes tin.
— image credit: Pirjo Raits

Georgia Medwedrich knows of what she speaks about. She is a good example of how people often discover they have Type II Diabetes. She found out she was pre-diabetic during an annual visit to her doctor. She was overweight but had no other symptoms of diabetes — although diabetes did run in her family.

“A lot of people are walking around and don’t know they have pre-diabetes, it can turn in Type II,” said Medwedrich. Just like her.

So she was put on diabetes medication and worked at controlling diabetes with diet and exercise. After a set back she struggled to get back to where she was but found she had to be on insulin.

“Exercise is the key,” she said. “The numbers are unbelievable, there are millions of people (with diabetes). They don’t realize it’s the number one killer and can lead to heart problems if they don’t care for themselves.”

Medwedrich is a member of the Sooke Harbourside Lions and when she wanted to enter a marathon in support of Juvenile Diabetes (Type I) they helped her out tremendously. She was grateful and in turn came up with a fundraiser, the annual Rubber Duck Race.

November is “Diabetes Awareness Month”

Nov. 14 is designated as “World Diabetes Day” by the United Nations as it is the birth date of Sir Frederick Banting who was the co-discoverer of insulin along with Dr. Charles Best.

The Sooke Harbourside Lions Club would like to take the opportunity to publicly thank the approximately 45 Sooke businesses and residents for their continued support in having our “Change for Diabetes” collection containers in their stores and the public for their generous donations. It helps “make a difference.”

This fundraiser was originally started many years ago  by the Sooke Lioness Club (“Pennies for Diabetes”) and in later years continued on by the Sooke Harbourside Lions (“Change for Diabetes”).  Lion Barb was the “Penny Lady” for many years.

Since her passing, Lion Jeanette now looks after the regular collecting from the businesses. Also in November, most of the Sooke elementary schools and some businesses participate in collecting for that month.

From the year round “Change for Diabetes” donations and Harbourside’s Annual Duck Race in the Spring, the Lions donate approximately $6,000 annually towards the Canadian Diabetes Association and Juvenile Diabetes to aid in research, advocacy, education and service for diabetics.

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