One of the last pictures I have of my dad, when I graduated from high school in 2012. Also one of our last family photos before he passed away.

Featured Story #1: Courtney D.

My dad was my hero. I always thought there was nothing that could happen to him. He was the strongest man I knew. He had type 2 diabetes since he was 18 years old. From some old pictures, he was overweight since he was a child. I never knew what diabetes was and that is one of my biggest regrets. Sometimes, I think that maybe if my family and I really understood diabetes and what you could do to manage it, maybe he would still be here today.

He was 43 when he passed away in 2014. We never really found out what had happened that day. He had so many health problems that any one of them could have been what did it. There were so many different factors that could have been the tipping point, but we could have done so many things that could have changed that.

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2016. In 2018, I took a diabetes management class for a couple weeks that helped me learn more about the disease. I wish I had known all that stuff when dad needed it the most. Diet and exercise is the key. However, my dad’s diet was difficult. He had diabetes, heart problems, and he was on dialysis. Some of the foods on the dialysis diet weren’t good for diabetes and vice versa.

Either way, he could have used more exercise. All we had to do was go outside for a walk with him and we didn’t do that often enough. I wish we had. I wish we had done more. But there’s no way we can go back, there is only learning from the past so we don’t make the same mistake in the future. All I can do is do for myself what I couldn’t for my dad.

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