A key coping mechanism for young people suffering from Type One Diabetes is peer support. This is according to Ms. Glynis Alonzo-Beaton who has long been waging war against the disease. Currently, Alonzo-Beaton holds the position of President of the Guyana Diabetic Association, Chairperson for the North America and Caribbean Region and the Deputy Chair for the Young Leaders in the Diabetes at the International Diabetes Federation [IDF].
The IDF is a worldwide alliance of over 230 diabetes associations in more than 160 countries who have come together to enhance the lives of people with diabetes everywhere.
Moreover, Alonzo-Beaton has been gaining immense support to help advance the fight against diabetes. She disclosed that while all types of diabetes are causes for concern, she is particularly concerned about those with Type One. Type One Diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes.
“For Type Ones, it is important to meet your peers so that you understand that you are not living in this world alone with your condition,” said Alonzo-Beaton as she noted that those inflicted are often victims of depression too.
“Many of them ask the question ’why me?’ They want to know why they were inflicted with such a disease…” said Alonzo-Beaton, as she stressed the need for support for Type One Diabetes.
It is for this reason that the Guyana Diabetic Association sometime ago decided to forge strategic partnerships to host a camp for Type One Diabetics. The camp is set to commence today at the Madewini Camping Site on the East Bank of Demerara.
Slated to spearhead a number of the activities is the Young Leaders in Diabetes, the youth arm of the Guyana Diabetic Association with support from key officials within the Ministry of Public Health.
The opening of the event is slated to be graced by the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shamdeo Persaud and Senior Minister of Public Health, Ms. Volda Lawrence, who is expected to declare it open.
“We are happy that the Ministry invested in this annual event,” said Alonzo-Beaton, as she disclosed that other partners that have helped to sustain the event are ‘Sponsor a Child’ and ‘Life for a Child’.
In fact, to support the event this year, donations from ‘Insulin for Life’ have been cleared by the Public Health Ministry just in time to give support to the young diabetics.
“While it came a little while ago and we had some hiccups, we are very happy the Ministry was able to clear the donation, because tomorrow the Type Ones’ camp starts, and we will be taking a lot of these to distribute to them, said Alonzo-Beaton. She added, “We would have been in relationship with them [Insulin for Life] and the Ministry from since around 2015, and they would normally send us donations of insulin, glucometers, strips , alcohol swabs, anything to do with diabetes,” Alonzo-Beaton related.
On this occasion, the sizeable donation will be handed out during the camping activities. The donated supplies will also be handed out to the membership of the Guyana Diabetic Association during its next meeting.
“We will start with our membership and then we will share to others,” said Alonzo-Beaton of the donation.
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