Della Reese Urges Houston Residents to be Stronger Than Diabetes

As part of a nationwide educational campaign, actress and singer Della Reese is visiting Houston on October 23 to
participate in events hosted by the American Diabetes Association and encourage residents with type 2 diabetes to aggressively manage their disease. Della will energize 2,000 walkers as they embark on the three-mile America’s
Walk for Diabetes Houston Metro Walk at 9:00 a.m. in Sam Houston Park. Houston residents can register for the walk by visiting http://www.diabetes.org/walk

Della is also taking part in the Houston launch of the American Diabetes Association’s Project POWER, a program that partners with churches to offer information about diabetes to the African American community. Della will share her practical and personal advice for living with type 2 diabetes, including information about healthy meal planning, regular physical activity, medications, and the importance of addressing insulin resistance, an underlying cause of type 2 diabetes. The event will take place at The Power Center at 1:30 p.m. For more information about this event, please call the Houston American Diabetes Association office at (713) 977-7706 ext 6088.

Della is the spokesperson for the “Della Reese: Stronger Than Diabetes” campaign. “When I found out I had type 2 diabetes, I was upset because I knew nothing about the condition and I had nothing to fight it with,” said Della
Reese. “I have since learned that I have the power to make meaningful changes in my life and that my diabetes management plan plays a big part in staying happy and healthy.” Type 2 diabetes is an epidemic in the United States, with approximately 18.2 million Americans currently diagnosed with the disease. In Texas alone,
more than eight percent of the population is affected by diabetes and the disease is the sixth leading cause of death throughout the state.

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar levels, which occur when the body cannot make enough insulin or does not respond normally to the insulin it makes, a condition called insulin resistance. The hormone insulin, which is made in the pancreas, helps the body to change food into energy. Diabetes is primarily a self-managed disease in that patients are responsible for following their healthcare professional’s recommended lifestyle and medication plan. In fact, more than 95 percent of diabetes care is in the hands of the patient. Unfortunately, however, approximately 50 percent of patients do not take their medication as prescribed and healthcare professionals have little control over patient behavior between office visits.

“If you take an active role in managing your disease, you can be stronger than diabetes. I’m living proof!” said Della Reese. The “Della Reese: Stronger Than Diabetes” campaign is sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline.

“Take Della’s Challenge: Be Stronger Than Diabetes”
People interested in learning more about type 2 diabetes can receive a one-of-a-kind copy of Take Della’s Challenge: Be Stronger Than Diabetes, a booklet filled with quick tips and true-life advice on managing type 2
diabetes as well as Della’s favorite diabetes-friendly recipes. Also included is a free motivational music CD to encourage a more active lifestyle featuring one of Della Reese’s songs. The free booklet and CD can be obtained by calling the toll-free number 1-866-463-6342 or by visiting
http://www.delladiabetes.com.

As part of her visit to Houston, Della will share what she has learned from her healthcare team about managing type 2 diabetes:

* Talk about it – now! Ask your healthcare professional about aggressively managing your diabetes and insulin resistance, a major underlying cause of the disease.

* Set goals. Test your blood sugar levels regularly. Also, to make sure you’re in control, have your doctor test your A1C level (a marker of long-term blood sugar control). The American Diabetes Association recommends a target A1C level of less than 7 percent.

* Keep a healthy, balanced meal plan. There’s no single, “right” diabetes diet. Work with your healthcare professional to develop a plan suited to your personal needs.

* Get moving. After talking to your doctor, start a physical activity program that incorporates your everyday activities, like walking the dog, gardening or taking the stairs. Exercise can help with weight loss as well as reducing insulin resistance.

* Stick with it. Follow your recommended meal plan, stay active and, when appropriate, take your medication regularly as prescribed by your healthcare professional. If you don’t, you may be at risk for serious diabetes-related complications.

About Project POWER
Project POWER is an American Diabetes Association program targeting the African American community through the churches. This program was developed to provide churches with a foundation to assist with integrating diabetes
awareness messages and healthy living tips into the life of the family and church. Project POWER utilizes worship services and educational workshops to inform church members about diabetes risk factors for African Americans, the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease, diabetes management, and the importance of physical activity and healthy eating. These lessons can improve the health of those church members living with diabetes, their families and even the community.

About The Sponsor
“Della Reese: Stronger Than Diabetes” is sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline. GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.

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