SIMPSONVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Since the beginning of November, Connected Health Pharmacy has been offering free Glucometer starter kits to those with diabetes, as well as free wellness classes.
This is all in support of November being National Diabetes Awareness month.
Pharmacy Owner and Pharmacist, Odiri Igbeyi, said awareness, education, and training for proper treatment are key for those living with the disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported more than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes.
Igbeyi said his pharmacy is giving away 100 starter kits to those who need them, for one simple reason.
“It’s because we care. It’s absolutely because we care,” Igbeyi said.
For the past 13 years, Katrina Nance has been living with diabetes, she knew she could have gotten the disease due to her family history. But, when she learned she had it at 19 years old, she wasn’t fully educated about her condition.
“Being young, I really didn’t take it serious at the time. I just kinda played around with it and eventually I had to get switched over to insulin,” Nance said.
Igbeyi said Nance’s story isn’t rare, but all too common. That’s why his pharmacy offers free classes to those with the disease, to teach them how to properly manage it.
“I made some goals. One was to become pregnant and I did,” Nance said proudly.
At 7 months pregnant, she knows that she cannot indulge just because she’s eating for two. But, she added that she will enjoy foods in moderation.
Stacy Fields, and his wife Tracy, agreed with Nance about moderation.
Fields has been living with diabetes for the past six years.
“I just live by: maintain, don’t gain,” Fields said.
Since the holidays are a time of feasting with family, Fields explained that he won’t starve or avoid food, but plan out his portions, meal times, and exercise.
“It may just be a brisk walk, it may be a quick football game with the kids, you know. But, something to get my activity up before I jump in,” Fields said.
Fields said he came to the pharmacy looking for answers about diabetes. His levels were sometimes too low, doctors kept adding medication, and he didn’t seem to be losing the right amount of weight they wanted.
“It had to be,” Fields said, “a community investment. I felt like coming to a pharmacy where it was 360.”
Connected Health’s free classes on various topics including diet, exercise and medication, among other topics, have given both Nance and Fields positive manageable results.
“Since I’ve been here my A1C has dropped six points,” Nance said.
“He is definitely on point and he’s losing the weight. I’m really proud of him,” Tracy Fields said of her husband.
Igbeyi explained that the holidays can be challenging for those with diabetes.
“You have to make some critical decisions that a lot of folks will not understand. You know, so it’s pretty challenging, it’s pretty tough,” Igbeyi said.
But, he added, no one has to do it alone. The pharmacy offers free classes, one-on-one and group sessions, there’s even a mobile app to help track your progress.