By: Krystle Crossman
Actress Angela Bassett lost her mother in June 2014. Her mother had Type 2 diabetes and developed heart disease from it. Now Bassett is honoring her mother by creating a campaign called For Your Sweetheart. It is a collaborative effort with Eli Lily and Company and Boehringer Ingelheim. The goal is to raise awareness about the risks of Type 2 diabetes and the risks of heart disease that can come from this as well. Bassett said that her mother was a very caring woman who was always looking out for other people’s best interests and she thought that this would be a good way to honor her by helping other people look out for each other.
Type 2 diabetes is a very prevalent disease, especially among black people. Bassett says that there is not a lot of information on the disease in some communities and this is how she hopes to spread the word about the risks. She wants to get people talking about it and talking about what they can do to reverse diabetes so that they do not have such a high risk of heart disease and death. Her mother rarely talked about her medical condition and as such didn’t seek the appropriate treatment for it. Her family didn’t know how to help her because they didn’t know what was going on. Bassett wants to make sure that this does not happen other families. The campaign strongly encourages people to go out looking for information even if they do not have diabetes themselves. There are people who are pre-diabetic and do not even know it. Small changes in their diet or daily exercise habits can greatly reduce their blood sugar and can ward off diabetes.
A survey was conducted and it showed that 52% of people who have diabetes are not aware of severe heart disease risks that were involved as well. They were not aware that diabetes could kill them in this way. There is a large increased risk of developing heart disease, 2 to 4 times more likely when you are a diabetic. Unfortunately, there is a stigma about being diabetic, as there is with most diseases, and people are reluctant to talk about it and talk about their daily struggle. This may cause them to become withdrawn and they may not seek out a doctor as often. There are many changes that people can make in their lives, especially their diets, to make sure that diabetes does not affect them. Even if you are not diabetic you should live life as if you were trying to get rid of diabetes so that you don’t ever develop it. Eating healthy is the biggest start to this. Bassett said the biggest lesson that she learned out of all of this with her mother is that your health is a huge priority in your life and you shouldn’t take it for granted. She said to make sure that everyone stays on top of their medical care and make sure that if something is wrong it is seen by a doctor as soon as possible so they can get on the track to recovery.