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November is American Diabetes Month

Over 29 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. In honor of American Diabetes Month in November, Orlando Family Magazine is pleased to support the American Diabetes Association’s mission: To prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by it. To participate in American Diabetes Month, visit

Ambassador Spotlights

Jeff Patterson

“I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1976 and am the only person in my family tree to have it. Living with diabetes for 38 years has been a challenge, mostly because I have to constantly balance insulin, food, exercise, stress, and other factors related to managing blood sugar. Lack of preparation can be fatal! The American Diabetes Association has helped me tremendously through disease education and by providing networking opportunities with wonderful people who are focused on finding a cure.”

Jayden Quitos

“In 2009, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and my life has never been the same. I have new challenges like sticking my finger multiple times a day to check my blood sugar, dealing with highs and lows, and figuring out carbohydrates when trying to enjoy a family dinner. But type 1 diabetes hasn’t stopped me from being a kid! I participate in cub scouts, love soccer, and play video games with my little brothers. I hope that the American Diabetes Association’s research will one day allow me and other kids to be able to live free from pumps and finger sticks and have normal healthy lives.”

Elizabeth Stein

“Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 10 in 1999, I was determined not to let the disease negatively impact my life. I connected with the American Diabetes Association, created an annual benefit show and a nonprofit organization called “Dancing for Diabetes.” As a student in Holley Ricker’s dance class at Millennium Middle School in Sanford, I was inspired to host a show to benefit the cause and, after receiving enthusiastic support from the Principal, what started as a small neighborhood event has transformed into an annual sold-out show hosted at Seminole High School. Until a cure is found, Dancing for Diabetes is passionately committed to supporting the fight against diabetes.”

Zita Steglich-Ross

“I have always taken pride in leading a healthy lifestyle. I watch what I eat and I love working out. At age 9, my parents took me to the doctor in preparation for a trip abroad. What was expected to be a routine checkup turned into the discovery that I was ‘borderline diabetic’ or prediabetic. It wasn’t until I was 46 that it became full blown diabetes. Many people are surprised when I tell them I have type 2 diabetes, but my highest risk factor is my race (African Americans are nearly twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites). Diabetes hasn’t stopped me from living an active lifestyle and I’m proud that the American Diabetes Association educates our community, including the populations that are disproportionately affected.”

Councilman Alvin Moore

In 2011, Alvin had been feeling sick, weak, and struggled to walk when he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and hospitalized. The town councilman (of Eatonville) and real estate agent immediately started to make lifestyle changes by walking the hospital stairs and made a commitment to take control of his blood glucose levels. Alvin talked to fellow council members and some constituents about his diabetes and, surprisingly, he discovered that many opened up about their own condition. With support from the American Diabetes Association, he spearheaded diabetes risk reduction programs in Eatonville by recruiting 6 churches and community leaders.

Alvin lost 70 pounds and exercises at least three times per week! His commitment to his health – and to seeing his children (Alvin Dillon Moore, Jr., 6, and Alyssa, 17 months) grow up – motivates others in the community.

Researching a Cure

The American Diabetes Association funds research aimed at preventing and curing diabetes, as well as research aimed at helping patients live longer, healthier, more normal lives.  Since the organization began supporting research, it has invested more than $640 million to fund nearly 4,000 projects, with a continuing emphasis on training new investigators and pursuing novel strategies. In 2013 alone, the American Diabetes Association Research Foundation invested approximately $35.75 million in diabetes research, funding 400 active projects nationwide, including 3 researchers at the Orlando based Translational Research Institute on Diabetes & Metabolism and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.

Upcoming Events

Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes

  • Saturday, November 8, 2014 
  • Join us for an active morning at the scenic Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake. Proceeds to benefit organizational programs and research.

Family Link Guided Tour and Picnic

  • December 6, 2014 
  • Children with diabetes (type 1 & 2) and their families are invited to participate in activities at the Green Meadows Petting Farm, located in Kissimmee.
  • Register at (407) 660-1926 or

Tour de Cure at Lake Nona

  • March 15, 2015 
  • Celebrating its 11th anniversary, this fundraising event is great for both avid and recreational cyclists, with routes from 10 miles to 102 miles.

Alert Day

  • March 24, 2015 
  • This one-day “wake-up call” asks Americans to take the Diabetes Risk Test to assess personal and family risk.

America Gets Cooking to Stop Diabetes

Transitioning to a diabetic-friendly diet can seem intimidating to some. One way to eat well is with the ADA’s “Create Your Plate Method.” You do not need any special tools or counting tricks, but need to focus on filling your plate with non-starchy vegetables and less starchy foods and meats.

  • Imagine drawing a line down the middle of your dinner plate. Then, on one side, cut it again so you have 3 sections on your plate.
  • Fill the largest section with non-starchy vegetables like salads, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, and tomatoes.
  • Fill one of the smaller sections with starchy foods such as noodles, rice, corn, or potatoes.
  • Fill the second smaller section with protein, like meat, fish, chicken, eggs, or tofu.
  • Add one small piece of fruit or ½ cup or fruit salad and 8 oz. glass of milk. If you do not drink milk, you can add an extra piece of fruit, light yogurt, or a small roll.

This month, the American Diabetes Association is celebrating America Gets Cooking to Stop Diabetes, an initiative designed to inspire people to live a more active and healthier lifestyle, and empower them to cook nutritious food.  Having diabetes doesn’t mean eating the same foods day after day. Remember to space your meals evenly throughout the day and don’t skip meals. Visit

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