Reporter: Shannon Samson
Web Producer: Kerry Corum
A world leader in diabetes research and care, opens a center in Evanvsille.
St. Mary's announces a new affiliation with the Joslin Diabetes Center of Boston, giving patients somewhere to turn, as thousands are expected to fall victim to the diabetes epidemic.
This isn't what Sammye traylor Pictured herself doing at 66, checking her blood sugar several times a day. She certainly didn't take the news very well when she was diagnosed with diabetes six-months ago.
Sammye says, "I was so depressed I said, 'I don't want to live.' If I have to live this way and eat this way, I don't want to live. I mean what kind of quality life is that, you know, if you can't eat? I was devastated."
She says she cried for a week until she came to St. Mary's new Joslin Diabetes Center.
Counselors assured Sammye it wasn't the end of the world, and told her what she needed to do to keep her blood sugar in check.
Certified Diabetes Educator Becky Carter, RN says, "The physician does not have that much time to educate patients in their offices. A handout on diet does not give the patient everything they need. They need one-on-one, or sometimes they need a group setting. They need extra attention. For instance, Sammye who was very distraught over the diagnosis of the disease, needed some extra help."
Counselors helped Sammye design an exercise plan. They explained why it's so important for diabetics to get their feet and eyes checked regularly, and not miss their annual flu shots.
But most of all, Sammye learned the basics of nutrition. Sammye says, "When I came here and I started learning how to eat and what to eat and when to eat, then I said, 'I can do this.'" And she did.
Twenty-eight pounds lighter, she's controlling her diabetes with diet and exercise instead of medication.
You can see the new center for yourself, and get a free screening for diabetes. There's an open house this Saturday from 9:00 to noon.
The featured speaker will be Dr. John Hare, an Evansville native who's worked at the Joslin Center in Boston for nearly thirty-years.