GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – November is widely recognized as National Diabetes Awareness Month. The Pitt County Health Department supported people with prediabetes and diabetes on Wednesday with an event called “A Taste of Wellness.”
The department’s Diabetes Education Program received support from AmeriHealth Caritas and Ripe Revival, both local groups, to hold the community event. Pitt County officials said one in three residents in the county have prediabetes, and one in 10 are diagnosed with diabetes.
Angela Libby attended the event and said she was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes a few years ago.
“A lot of people don’t realize they have low blood sugars, or they have diabetes. They don’t know. I was one of those. I didn’t know,” Libby said.
When Libby found out about the county’s diabetes education programs, a door opened.
“It’s been a game changer for me. I didn’t know anything about what to do, how to eat, how to navigate things. I lost 30 pounds in the process through the program,” Libby said.
Organizers said the turnout was great.
“I am thrilled with the turnout. It has been amazing. As soon as we opened the doors, everybody flooded in and I was, my heart was jumping. It was so exciting,” organizer Elizabeth Milton said.
There were resources like cooking demonstrations, community outreach and health groups, all working to give people the tools to recognize and manage the disease.
“Diabetes is such a big thing in Eastern North Carolina, and we want people to know there are resources. There are ways that you can get your A1C checked, learning how to manage your diabetes,” Milton said.
While Libby has learned to manage her diabetes, not everyone has, making A Taste of Wellness the first step for many to learn more about Pitt County’s Diabetes Self-Management Education Program and Diabetes Prevention Program.
“Now I feel good all the time. I’m making good choices. I’m respecting my body and I’m respecting myself and that makes me feel very empowered. I’m so grateful for the program,” Libby said.