Money for diabetes

The St. Patrick’s Heritage and Community Association is helping members of the Barbados Diabetes Association to further their educational programmes.

Yesterday morning at the BDA headquarters in Beckles Road, St. Michael, treasurer of the PHCA, Erskine Griffith, presented a cheque of US$1,000 to the association on behalf of their chapter in the United States.

Public Relation Officer of the BDA, Kenrick Corbin, said the association was very appreciative of the donation. With nine chapters on the island, he told Barbados TODAY the association would use the finances to further educational programmes and outreach sessions aimed at informing the public on the disease as they encouraged preventative medicine.

One of the biggest problems facing the association, Corbin said, was ignorance and because of that, many diabetics were in denial.

“The first thing a diabetic needs to get over is the sign of denial, once he gets over that then he is okay. People seem to think it is a life sentence and there are certain myths about diabetes where males are concerned.

“Certain males think when you are a diabetic you don’t function (sexually) but it depends on how you choose to live your life, what you want to do and how bad you choose to let your diabetes get. You function normally like anything else; if you have AIDS and you don’t get anti retro-viral drugs you would go downhill — the same with diabetes, if you don’t treat it, it is one of these things that will carry all of your organs. There is no cure for it but you can live a normal life,” he said.

Griffith said today’s gesture was a part of their mission to become more supportive and involved in community projects. Over the years they have contributed to other communities projects. They have adopted the Gordon Walters Primary School, he said, and in 2010 they also made a presentation to the Autism Society.

This year, Griffith said, they decided it was time to move on and support another organisation which was involved with similar work hence their reason for embracing the Diabetes Association.

“We are all aware of all the work this association is doing; our members here, in the States, UK, Canada, we think that it is a project that needs to be supported, because it is helping people across Barbados to deal with their health challenges, particularly those related to diabetes. What happened today may be an indicator it is likely to happen in 2013,” he said. (KC)

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