Family tackles diabetes risks

A Nanaimo family is facing the risk of diabetes head on, determined to make a difference for themselves and others.

A Nanaimo family is facing the risk of diabetes head on, determined to make a difference for themselves and others.

Sharon Hampton, while not diabetic,  understands the disease. Both her grandmother and father were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

“My grandmother had both legs amputated and my dad lost one leg due to diabetic peripheral neuropathy complications,” she said.  “My dad ultimately died of a stroke eight years ago.”

She now makes healthier choices based on her family’s history of diabetes.

“For me and my husband, who also has a family history of diabetes, it means we can’t let down our guard,” she said. “We have made a number of lifestyle changes to limit the risk of diabetes for our whole family.”

Hampton is the race director for Cash Store Financial’s Freedom Run in Nanaimo Saturday (Sept. 24). It’s one of six walk/run events in B.C. this weekend and 32 across Canada supporting diabetes research.

The Nanaimo run is at Westwood Lake Park with three- and five-kilometre routes. Registration is at 9 a.m. and the run starts at 10 a.m.

Fees are $35 before event day and $40 on event day. Please visit www.thefreedomrun.ca to pledge or register.

Diabetes affects the body’s ability to produce and use insulin, the hormone responsible for turning food into useable energy.

The spikes in blood sugar levels cause complications such as blindness, limb amputation and organ failure.