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We have arrived at the eleventh month of the year. If we were to ask you, “What is the Strides Lions for Diabetes Awarenessfirst topic that comes to mind when you think about November?”; what would you say? More than likely, your response would include something related to Thanksgiving, football or fall, but there is one other topic that should come to mind – diabetes. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and we think it’s time to spread the word about the growing epidemic.

Diabetes is a long-lasting disease that impacts how your body turns food into energy. According to the CDC, approximately 30.3 million American adults have diabetes, and 1 in 4 don’t even know that they have the disease. People with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes are at higher risk for other serious health complications including blindness, kidney problems, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, nerve damage and more. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for diabetes at this time, but it is treatable with healthy lifestyle changes.

Lions Club International adopted diabetes awareness at a long-term commitment back in 1984. The primary object was to reduce the number of new cases of blindness caused by diabetic retinopathy. Wisconsin Lions are always on a mission to actively support LCI’s efforts, but November is an excellent opportunity to reach an even larger audience. If you and your club are looking to make a difference in the world of diabetes awareness, here are a few project ideas, courtesy of Lions Club International:

  • Conduct a local diabetes screening – Partner with healthcare professionals to carry out the event. Organizations such as government health departments, universities, hospitals and private physicians will often agree to perform free of low-cost public screenings. Learn more about getting started.
  • Organize a Strides event in your community – A Strides event is a highly visible, family-oriented activity that combines fun with exercise. Events can include walking, dancing, cycling or running. Find out more about organizing one today.
  • Start planning a school or community garden – Spring may not be top of mind this time of year, but it’s never too early to start thinking about next season gardening. Having fruits and vegetables readily available is always a great way to encourage others to make healthy meal choices.
  • Provide your local library with an annual diabetes magazine subscription – You can find industry publications with subscriptions as low as $10 a year. Talk about an affordable way to reach all curious library visitors!
  • Create a support group for those affected with diabetes – A support group will give you a chance to educate and inform others while creating a safe space for families suffering.

World Diabetes Day is Friday, November 15. There’s never been a better time to start planning a project to increase diabetes awareness. Already working on a large service project, or don’t think there’s enough time to get one started this month? You and your club can still help spread the word. When you support Lions Pride, you can designate your gift specifically for the WLF’s Diabetes Project – ensuring funding in perpetuity. Diabetes is no match to the power of Lions. Together, we can all work to inform and educate others to help prevent and control diabetes.