Mary Ellen Baker talks with icyou about her personal connection to diabetes and why she walks for a cure.
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Question: Why do you walk for diabetes? Mary Ellen Baker: Well, I always believe that it's important to get back to the community and then for the American Diabetes Association, I have a personal connection and a personal interest in this, and that my husband was diagnosed with diabetes, it's been about 6 years ago. So initially when he was told, he tried to handle it through diet and exercise. Then it was probably two years ago, he had back surgery and through medications for after the surgery steroids, he ended up becoming insulin-dependent and changed his life forever. My husband was very surprised and we did not have -- he did not have diabetes in his immediate family, so he wasn't feeling well when we originally got the initial diagnosis, but never would have guessed that there was diabetes so. Then once diagnosed, it was, well then, now what you do, what are the steps, how do you take care of yourself. So we really appreciate the American Diabetes Association. The research and the information that they provide to help improved the quality of his life. Question: What do you think needs to happen to stop the diabetes trend? Mary Ellen Baker: Well, that's a great question and it has become an absolute epidemic. I am just amazed when I hear the numbers of people that are diagnosed and that may not even know it. So I think we just need to get the word out. As I understand, the diabetes has killed more people than I think it's aids and breast cancer come behind, and yet it doesn't get the kind of press and the acknowledgment. So in addition, the people acquire just the life sort of affects. My husband has to very much focus on where he is each day, taking shots, whether he is in a restaurant and really watching his meals. So the millions of the Americans that it affects, I think it's just very concerning. So we need to make sure we can raise awareness and funds to really educate and do research. Question: Walking for a cure: Successful fundraising. Mary Ellen Baker: My team is called the Mary Ellen Baker Team have regional right but we have a number of Bank of America teams that are joining and the intention was to get a lot of teams so we can have some friendly competition. I already know of a Bank of America team that's beat our record. So I believe they were close to $19,000. So we did great this year but other teams have done even better and frankly that's what it's all about.