Tuscaloosa, Alabama – The Shelton State Community College (SSCC) Association of Nursing Students (SSANS) hosted a campus-wide Diabetes Walk on World Diabetes Day, November 14. Held on the Martin Campus, the walk raised both disease awareness and money for Tuscaloosa’s Good Samaritan Clinic.
Following a brief welcome by SSCC nursing instructor Dr. Vicki Hannah, SSCC student Mandi Billings sang the national anthem. This year’s special guest, Nate Norman, spoke about his experiences and challenges while living with Type-1 diabetes (T1D). Nate, 13 years old, has been able to manage T1D while continuing to play baseball, football, and basketball since his diagnosis two years ago. He credits athletes like Keith Holcombe and his endocrinologist, Dr. Keith Debell, in showing that people with diabetes can do anything if they take care of themselves.
Serving also as event coordinator for the third year, Dr. Vicki Hannah’s passion was evident in her preparation for the walk. Dr. Hannah, a nurse educator and mother of a son with T1D, strives to promote diabetes awareness and education among students at the College. According to Dr. Hannah, “the incidence of new-onset T1D is increasing in young adults and sadly, younger at-risk adolescents are developing Type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). More importantly, literature describes adolescent-onset T2DM as having a more aggressive phenotype with increased risk for complications similar to those seen in T1D. The younger a diagnosis of diabetes is made, the more years an individual must manage the disease and any potential complications. Incorporation of primary prevention and proper screening strategies within the College environment may assist students with making proactive choices toward diabetes prevention and health promotion. The American Diabetes Association (2015) reported that approximately 193,000 Americans under age 20 were estimated to have diagnosed diabetes.”
The Shelton State SSANS World Diabetes Walk raised more than $600. All proceeds benefitted Tuscaloosa’s Good Samaritan Clinic and promote continued screening of individuals at risk for developing diabetes.
As true advocates for the cause, SSCC nursing students spent the weeks leading up to the event educating the College about diabetes risk and prevention. They continued this by providing free blood sugar screenings at the walk. Additional event support was provided by SSCC Strength Coach Deb Dunn, the SSCC cheerleaders, and Marvin Lucas, the District 6 representative on the Tuscaloosa City Schools Board of Education.
For more information on SSCC student organization activities, visit sheltonstate.edu.