Inaugural Diabetes Festival Raised Awareness in Long Beach

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Attendees at the Diabetes Family Festival learned facts about diabetes and see the many faces of diabetes in the community.

Attendees at the Diabetes Family Festival learned facts about diabetes and see the many faces of diabetes in the community.

Nationwide there are 29.1 million people who are living with diabetes. In that group, there are 8.1 million people who are currently undiagnosed. That means that 27.8 percent of people with diabetes are undiagnosed and unaware of the damage that is being caused to their bodies due to improper care. In an effort to raise diabetes awareness, the Long Beach Memorial Diabetes Program and the Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach Endocrine, Diabetes and Metabolic Center hosted the inaugural Diabetes Family Festival on Sunday, Nov. 16. 

“There are a lot of misconceptions about diabetes and the people it affects,” says Trudy Bly, RN, CDE, Endocrine, Diabetes and Metabolic Center, Miller Children’s. “We wanted to use this opportunity to remind the community that diabetes can affect anyone and that you can live a healthy, ‘normal’ life with diabetes.”

Community members of all ages arrived to the family festival to learn about diabetes prevention and management from experts at Long Beach Memorial and Miller Children’s. More than 150 guests visited various vendor diabetes-related booths and resource tables to gather information about diabetes, nutrition and physical activity.

In addition to the wealth of resources available at the Diabetes Family Festival, visitors were treated to a free classic car show, live music, family friendly activities and healthy food options. The Long Beach Memorial Diabetes Team kept visitors engaged by offering raffle tickets for gift baskets to anyone that participated in their diabetes facts quiz.

“Engaging people is an important aspect of awareness,” says Linda Kerr, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, CDE, Director, Diabetes Program, Long Beach Memorial. “Making sure that people know the signs and symptoms of diabetes is one thing, but having them actually use their knowledge or speak about diabetes to others is how we can make sure everyone is getting the care they need.”

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