Luna County Fighting Diabetes wants to bring awareness to the community in Deming, NM

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DEMING – Almost 868,500 New Mexican adults have pre-diabetes, and according to national estimates, only 1 in 5 is aware of it. This is according to the New Mexico Department of Health. The department data also indicates pre-diabetes is a condition where a person’s blood glucose is elevated, but not high enough for them to be diagnosed with diabetes. With this lack of awareness comes the potential for significant health problems including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Governor Susana Martinez has proclaimed November as Diabetes Awareness Month in New Mexico to increase awareness about the immediate and long-term impact of diabetes to New Mexico residents, families and communities.

“A staggering 868,500 New Mexico adults are estimated to have either pre-diabetes or diabetes and these conditions together cost our state economy more than $2.5 billion a year in direct and indirect costs,” said Department of Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher. “It’s our priority to educate New Mexicans about the risks of diabetes and help them make healthy changes.”

For that reason, a group of families are rallying local support for the first-ever Luna County Fighting Diabetes 2-Mile Walk and Educate. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17 at Deming High Memorial Stadium track and field venue on South Nickel Street.

The LCFD was organized by Johanna Quintana and Crystal Gonzales. The two local women are in the process of qualifying as a 501c3 nonprofit organization and are drumming up support to bring awareness to the disease.

Quintana and Gonzales are pillars of their families living with diabetes.

Gonzales was diagnosed with diabetes as a child and knows all too well the struggles of living with the disease. Her diagnosis came at a time when technological advances and the advancement of modern medicine in treating the disease were not available.

Jessica Armendariz Perez has a son who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last year at the age of six. She was invited to join the LCFD and is actively involved in seeking out volunteers and sponsorship for the Nov. 17 walk.

Jessica became aware of her son’s condition when she noticed he was not himself during a family outing. “This was not how my son would normally act,” she said. “He would’ve been excited to be on this family trip, but he seemed lethargic and had a hard time keeping his eyes open.”

The boy was rushed to the ER where he was diagnosed with high blood sugar and sent to a specialist in El Paso. Doctors told Jessica if he would have not received treatment at the time of the family outing he could have easily drifted into a coma and never come out of it.

Now 7, the boy is insulin dependent and his extended family shares in regulating his blood sugar levels. “He’s a normal active seven-year-old,” Jessica says. “it was important for my extended family to take an active role in his treatment and well-being. He spends a lot of time with relatives and they are willing to do the math and be a part of his changing lifestyle.”

The LCFD encourages those who are living with diabetes to get in touch with Quintana or Gonzales to increase membership and to volunteer for the event. They are also seeking sponsors for the 2-mile walk and vendors who would like to set at the event. Informational booths will be available to community organizations and those in the health care industry.

“Please come out and help us spread awareness about diabetes (type 1 and 2) pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes,” Gonzales said. The LCFD mission statement is to create a support system for diabetics in Luna County and to also educate the community. The future path of the LCFD is to gain nonprofit status and to help assist diabetics with financial means to afford the lifesaving medications they need. They have also stepped up efforts in support of bringing awareness to juvenile diabetes in Deming and Luna County.

Gonzales can be reached at 575-494-0840 and Quintana can be reached at 575-494-1278. If interested in supporting, volunteering or sponsoring the event, please email to diabetes.dem@gmail.com.

There are three ways you can support the event:

Vendors – The LCFD is seeking vendors who can offer healthy food options during the event that will promote wellness. Members and organizations in the health care industry are encouraged to sign up. There will be no vendor fee but if items are sold, the LCFD is asking for a donation at the conclusion of the event.

Raffles prizes – Donations of raffle prizes will be accepted and greatly appreciated.

Sponsorship – The LCFD will accept monetary sponsorships for the event which will be used for expenses in putting on the event. Any sponsor proceeds left over will be put into an account which will be used for juvenile diabetics and the diabetes summer camp. Checks can be made out to: Luna County Fighting Diabetes, CO/Crystal Gonzales of Johana Quintana.

“We are working diligently with the Luna County Health Council to get this organization off the ground,” Gonzales said. “This is desperately needed in the community and we appreciate any, and all, support.”

Bill Armendariz can be reached at 575-546-2611 (ext. 2606) or biarmendariz@demingheadlight.com.

Who’s at risk?

The American Diabetes Association offers a Diabetes Risk Test to measure your risk for type 2 diabetes, but you are at increased risk for diabetes if:

• You are overweight.

• You are physically inactive.

• A parent, brother or sister has diabetes.

• You are Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Asian American, African American or Pacific Islander.

• You had a baby weighing more than nine pounds or had gestational diabetes.

• You have high blood pressure.

• You have low HDL (good cholesterol).

• You have high triglycerides.

Source : https://www.demingheadlight.com/story/news/2018/11/09/luna-county-fighting-diabetes-wants-bring-awareness-community-deming-nm/1934282002/