Hi everyone! We continue our Step Out blog series today with Jeff Peterson’s story. Learn below about his emotional diagnosis, how he found the American Diabetes Association and the steps he’s taken since to help others learn about type 2 diabetes.
“I had always pretty much done whatever I wanted with my body, never really paying attention to what I was eating, drinking…or anything else for that matter. Sure, my parents had diabetes, but so what? That was never going to be me.
About five years ago, I made a doctor’s appointment because I just wasn’t feeling right. I was asked to come in a week before to have blood work done because it had been so long since my last visit. When I was at his office, the doctor walked in the exam room, opened the chart and the first thing he said was, “I’m sorry to tell you, but it looks like you have type 2 diabetes.” That’s when my heart fell.
Years later, I was at a Chamber of Commerce meeting where different groups were able to set up booths and show their products. I happened to walk by the American Diabetes Association’s booth and they had a display showing how much sugar was in different drinks and foods I ate all the time. I was shocked by what I saw – it was at that point that I came to grips with my disease and chose to finally do something about it. I spoke with Jacqueline Reding, Associate Manager in the Minnesota area, and she told me about ways I could help others get educated about this disease. It was that night that I joined the Minneapolis Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes Committee.
You can live with type 2 diabetes once you come to realize it’s not too late to start taking care of yourself. Having this disease, you cannot sit back and think, “Woe is me.” That’s why I decided to step up to the plate and knock diabetes out of the park. I’m excited to take the lead as a Team Red Captain so all those living with diabetes will be honored and celebrated. I encourage everyone to join Step Out so others will never have to hear what I did: I am sorry to tell you, you have diabetes.
As Jeff says, it’s never too late to take control of this disease. Are you a Red Strider or would you like to become one? Learn more here.