By Edwin A. Velarde
Diabetes is a chronic disease and increasing in prevalence worldwide. Current estimate states, over 425 million suffer from diabetes and sadly costing 4 million human lives each year. Diabetes has a huge impact on third-world countries, particularly in the Philippines. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the region will see the greatest increase in the number of people with diabetes by 2025. This increase in the burden of chronic diseases in Asia will significantly affect nations’ health care systems, both acutely and chronically.
The Philippines is a Diabetes Hotspot. If nothing is done to stem the alarming trend, according to local experts, “the prevalence of diabetes is expected to soar to 20 percent by the year 2045, and more than 100,000 Filipinos would be dying every year due to its complications”. If we act now, we may be able to keep in check the Diabetes Epidemic in the Philippines. We need to raise awareness and educate ourselves. Diabetes is preventable. The key is education and understanding of this horrible condition.
Diabetes can lead to many life-threatening complications. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failures, lower limb amputations, loss of vision, severe periodontal disease, heart disease and stroke. Diabetes is a huge threat to the world’s population.
On August 23, 2019, I am working with Rotarians in Rotary District 3820 Philippines (Thank you DG Everett Olivan!) to raise awareness of the diabetes condition, its perils and the Global Diabetes Epidemic. I will ride my bicycle from Metro-Manila along the shores of Laguna de Bay (Lake Laguna), to Tagaytay, parts of Batangas and around the Province of Laguna. The challenges of the taxing tropical weather to my type-1 diabetes condition during monsoon season makes this a true EPiC Journey Against Diabetes.
Rotarians and friends of the region from Metro-Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Bicol, etc… provinces will join me on this EPiC Journey Against Diabetes. Rotary Club of Bay, Laguna lead by PP Janice Berris is coordinating nutrition and fellowship stops for myself and other riders. A Diabetes Symposium, hosted by multiple Rotary Clubs in Calamba and Bay, Laguna lead by Past-President Philip Carcellar, in cooperation with many other Rotary Clubs in Rotary District 3820, will feature experts of diabetes. I will share my personal diabetes journey and information about the Global Diabetes Epidemic.
I was diagnosed with diabetes at age 29 and for many years had suffered the consequences of unstable blood glucose level. In recent years I developed a new nutrition program and introduced cycling to my lifestyle. With this, I found new energy which I am now using to advocate for those with diabetes and hope to inspire Rotarians and others to take on the Global Diabetes Epidemic.
If you are interested in joining me or would like your Rotary Club to become part this EPiC Journey Against Diabetes, please send us a note via CONTACT US.
About the Author: Edwin A. Velarde is Past-President of the Rotary of Westlake Village, California USA, has held multiple leadership positions in RI District 5240, member of the Board of Directors of Rotary Action Group for Diabetes and a member of the Board of Directors for Rotary Fellowship of Cycling to Serve. Velarde has cycled to 4 recent Rotary International Conventions. Busan to Seoul, South Korea; Rotary Club of Chicago/ONE to Atlanta, GA United States; Rotary World Headquarters in Evanston, IL to Toronto, ON Canada and in 2019, from London, United Kingdom through 5 European countries (UK, FR, BE, NL DE), to Hamburg, Germany. With these efforts, Edwin reminds Rotarians to stay healthy and to help fight the Global Diabetes Epidemic in their communities and around the world.
To learn more about diabetes, visit http://www.rag-diabetes.org. Feel free to browse around the website as there are a plethora of information that are available.