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Diabetes Stories

"As a native nation, we must fight diabetes…"

Rudy Clark

Rudy Clark, 54,

Hualapai Tribe, Peach Springs, Az.

Type 2

I didn't know a thing about diabetes when I was diagnosed, but I have since come to understand its full impact. My father, who died when I was young, had his leg amputated. What he went through motivates me. I am trying to keep my life available to my children and grandchildren.

Maintaining a steady weight and keeping a vigorous exercise schedule has been challenging. I used to eat eggs, bacon, and fried bread. Now I eat blue corn tortillas and ground buffalo meat. I bake my foods rather than fry them. I took classes on heart health and managing diabetes, and learned to read labels to pick which foods to eat. I eat my vegetables first, then my protein. I snack on nuts and fruit to maintain my sugar throughout the day.

I have a good support group, including three sons and 14 grandchildren. My children respect what I need. I have two sisters and two brothers who are living with diabetes. We give each other support. If I stray, my family and friends remind me, which is good.

My advice to others with diabetes is that you are in control of your life and must do what is right. Watch what you eat and exercise. Listen to your doctor. As a native nation, we need to fight diabetes, using our cultural and traditional methods.

Fall 2009 Issue: Volume 4 Number 4 Page 13