Colorado

Jun 23, 2010 7:49 PM by David Ortiviz

Pueblo group aims to prevent diabetes

The Pueblo City-County Health Department says a staggering 9% of the population in Pueblo is diabetic--that's nearly twice the state average. There's a group in Pueblo working hard to bring that number down.

Sometimes people are living with diabetes without even knowing it. Nine years ago Dan Wolf first realized something was wrong. "I was driving down Pueblo Boulevard, and all of a sudden my vision changed," said Wolf. Wolf described everything as blurry; a common symptom of type 2 diabetes. By taking medication, maintaining a healthy diet, and exercising regularly Wolf manages this disease on a daily basis. "How to eat healthier, how to eat better, how to portion your meals," says Wolf.

Twenty-three million Americans like Wolf are diabetic. According to the American Diabetes Association, Latinos are twice as likely as Caucasians to get the disease. "We see a lot of diabetes in Pueblo I think, because we have a high rate of Hispanic population here," said Linda Rikhoff, with the Pueblo Community Diabetes Project.

Diabetes is prevalent in our community, but getting screened is simple and free. They give your finger a small prick that allows them to test your blood sugar levels and indicate if you're at risk or not. The Parkview Diabetes Care Center offers free screenings. The center is located at 400 West 17th St. Their phone number is (719) 584-7320.
    
Another crusader against diabetes is the Pueblo Community Diabetes Project which raises money to help pay for screening, supplies and educational classes for patients like Dan Wolf. "There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about the 4 nights I spent in the class, and the tools they gave me to make my life better."

"Basically we just want people to be aware that diabetes is around, we want to prevent it, and if you have it, we want to help you take care of yourself," says Rikhoff.
  
The Pueblo Community Diabetes Project is holding a "Prevent-A-Thon" fundraiser in downtown Pueblo on Saturday June 26, 2010. The event is a concert that will take place from  6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Grand and Main. It is open to all ages: $5 for adults, $3 for ages 13 to 20 with a student ID, and kids 12 and under get in FREE! The bands performing are P-Nuckle, the Matt Nasi band and KettleKooked.

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