World Diabetes Day acknowledges a disease affecting millions

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Each year, Nov. 14 is recognized as World Diabetes Day. A disease Pamela Rivera is all too familiar with.

“It was life-changing,” Pamela said.

Pamela is a single Mom living in Collier County. Her daughter, Sabine, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about two years ago.

“For people who don’t know what diabetes is,” Sabine said, “you should educate yourself.”

That is especially important considering the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said one in three Americans have pre-diabetes, a precursor to significant health problems such as heart disease and stroke. It can lead to a costly diagnosis for millions.

Just like the Riveras family experiences.

“Last year I paid $7,000 out of pocket,” Pamela said.

That is just for supplies to manage Sabine’s condition. It does not include separate doctors’ visits between hospitals.

“It’s difficult,” Monica Ramos said, a nurse living with diabetes, “but you manage.”

Some of the supplies Sabine uses for her diabetes condition. Photo via WINK News
Some of the supplies Sabine uses for her diabetes condition. Photo via WINK News.

Monica helps treat kids like Sabine. She said, getting an early diagnosis is key.

“It’s hard,” Monica said. “You have to live on the straight line that’s hard to stay on.”

That’s why education is imperative. Since Sabine has Type 1 diabetes, her body does not produce insulin. Without insulin, her body is not able to operate in a way that gives her energy.

With an in-depth understanding of the ailment, the Riveras have been able to cope with this life-changing disease, applying the best practices to keep Sabine healthy.

But they’ve had assistance along the way.

“All of my friends help me,” Sabine said. “They’re so nice about it.”

“We want everyone to be healthy,” Pamela said.

Especially since the CDC said 90 percent of Americans living with pre-diabetes do not even know they have it.


Viewers are then encouraged to visit where they can take a one-minute risk test to know where they stand. If someone receives a high score, the campaign directs them to speak with their doctor to first confirm a diagnosis of pre-diabetes, then enroll in a CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes.

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