World Diabetes Day – Walk the world to raise awareness Monday 15 October 2007 PDF Print Gary Abram is a man with a mission – a mission to spread the word. The word he wants to spread is ‘diabetes’ because he thinks that everyone needs to be more aware of the growth of this difficult condition and to help prevent its spread across the world by encouraging people to be healthier. Gary had no links to diabetes until he saw a presentation about the condition. He says, “I was totally shocked. I had no idea the impact diabetes has on a person’s life, nor how rapidly it is spreading around the world. The numbers are frightening – diabetes kills as many people as HIV/AIDs. One person dies of diabetes every 10 seconds, and someone new is diagnosed every 5 seconds.” In 1985, 30 million people were estimated to have diabetes globally. It’s currently estimated at 220 million. By 2025 there will be 333 million people with diabetes. Without good medical care, the complications that arise form this condition are kidney damage, eye damage, amputations and heart problems. Sue Marshall has had Type ! diabetes since 1972. She says, “I deal with my own diabetes every hour of the day and I now run a company, Desang Ltd**, which makes useful kitbags for diabetics to carry their monitoring and medicating equipment with them at all times. I saw Gary speak, and was amazed at his knowledge, his passion and his simple message. And it’s not just about us in the UK, this is about the impact of diabetes around the world. People die of this condition day in, day out. And so much of it can be prevented. We have to help spread the world. I, and my company, are right behind him. I’ll be walking!” Gary says, “Most of us have heard of diabetes, but don’t really understand why people develop it or what they have to do to live with it. Most worryingly, people just don’t realise that we all have a risk of diabetes and that risk increases the more overweight we are. In the developed world, at least there’s access to medical help – people with diabetes can live full and active lives. In the developing world it’s a different matter. Diabetes severely impacts the lives of millions of people and their dependents and, for many, it is simply a death sentence.” Gary was a computer engineer but he gave up his job and has used his savings to launch a series of world-wide ‘walks for diabetes’. This year, he is organizing an event to take place on 14th November – the first World Diabetes Day*. And, while many of us might be getting ‘charity fatigue’ with our friends, family, colleagues -- and sometimes even strangers on the street -- asking us to sponsor them to perform some feat or other, this is simpler. There is no sponsorship required, no special t-shirt to buy, the purpose is only to raise awareness about diabetes. All you have to do is walk for 30 minutes on World Diabetes Day on 14 November – and you can do it wherever you are! Of course, all Type 1 diabetes and some Type 2 diabetes is unpreventable – there are genetic links that mean it’s programmed into you and a healthy lifestyle will not prevent it. But for many, Type 2 diabetes is due to low exercise levels, eating too much, or eating the wrong kind of foods, and the ‘car and TV culture’ that is part of modern lives. “We all know that we should be eating better, drinking better, taking regular exercise and changing our lifestyles” says Gary, “but people don’t really know why. Preventing diabetes is a great reason. If people realized how serious it is, I’m sure they would do all they could to reduce the risk, for themselves and for the people they care about. In doing so they will free up resources to help those for whom diabetes is unavoidable.“ Why walk? Why not! It’s easy to do – it takes just 30 minutes and you can do it anywhere! Over the last three years over 350,000 people from 60 countries joined in the walks Gary has coordinated. There were walkers on Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, walks in hospital wards in Spain, parades on the streets of Brazil and even walkers in Antartica. As Gary says, “the key to defeating diabetes is awareness and understanding.” Just imagine how many people ‘got the message’ from those walkers. Why not be one of them this year and help spread the word? Go to www.worldwalks.org or call Gary on 0208 123 3436 NOTES FOR EDITORS: * World Diabetes Day officially recognized by the United Nations In December 2006, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed a landmark Resolution recognizing diabetes as a chronic, debilitating and costly disease. The Resolution designates World Diabetes Day as a United Nations Day to be observed every year starting on 14 November 2007. www.worlddiabetesday.org ** Desang Ltd was set up by Sue Marshall, who has Type 1 diabetes, to provide carry-cases and kitbags for people with diabetes to take all their monitoring and medicating equipment with them, making control of the condition easier. Contact Sue on 07989-562999 or firstname.lastname@example.org See the products at www.desang.net This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Desang Limited in the following categories: Children & Teenagers, Men's Interest, Health, Leisure & Hobbies, Women's Interest & Beauty, Sport, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.