Walk to promote awareness

2019-10-29 06:01
Anthea Usher with the late Caylee Usher.

Anthea Usher with the late Caylee Usher.

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Losing her child did not discourage her from fighting diabetes, and so, Anthea Usher from Goodwood is planning a memorial walk to raise awareness about the illness.

Anthea comes from a diabetic family, and she lost the battle to save her daughter, Caylee, last year, six years after the diagnosis.

On Saturday 23 November, she plans to host the Caylee Usher Memorial Walk at The Jack Muller Danie Uys Park in Bellville, in honour of her daughter. The walk will start at 10:00.

Anthea says she named the walk after Caylee because she drew strength to raise awareness of the illness, one year after losing her 18-year-old daughter.

Although Caylee did not die from diabetes according to Anthea, she says over the years she realised that not much support was given to patients or families living with diabetes and there was little knowledge about the condition, particularly type one diabetes in youth. The walk is not just aimed at remembering Caylee, but to show support to those affected as well as to educate the public about diabetes in youth.

Anthea says this needs to be given a lot of attention in communities, workplaces and at schools.

“Educators need to know what to do if they have type one learners in their schools. They need to know and understand the challenges that these children face every day of their lives. For example, understanding they may need to use the bathroom more frequently than others, to keep a snack handy in case their glucose levels drop, that they need to test and inject at different periods during the day and more,” she explains.

She says most diabetes related awareness initiatives are institutionalised and reach few people even though it affects many people in the communities.

She hopes with her move, there will be more awareness and government will consider helping the few existing initiatives addressing the problem.

“The problem in our society is that there is little to no awareness drives around diabetes. There may be awareness drives at private hospitals or within the health department, but nothing to address the public,” says Anthea.

“This illness is lifelong [but] yes, it can be managed,” concludes Anthea.V For the day Anthea is looking for donations and sponsorship for the following: water, diet soft drinks, ice, energy bars, fruit – diabetic walkers will need to replenish if their glucose levels drop, reading material related to #Diabetes, blue rubber arm bands or printing on the arm bands and promotional water bottles. For more information call her on 072 229 1279.

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