A Town Talks About Diabetes
Alvin Moore has always been the kind of guy who takes charge of a situation. So, when it came to getting control over his blood glucose levels, he quickly took command.
Moore, 43, of Eatonville, Fla., had been feeling sick and weak to the point where he couldn't walk when he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and hospitalized in 2011. The town councilman and real estate agent started his lifestyle changes right away by walking the hospital stairs for exercise.
Once out of the hospital, Moore told fellow council members and some constituents why he had been absent. What he found was surprising: People who had never mentioned they lived with diabetes opened up to him about their condition. They included his own brother, who had type 2 but had kept it a secret from the family. "There were so many people right in my immediate area who had diabetes; it was astonishing to me," Moore says.
Moore contacted Pauline Lowe at the American Diabetes Association's Orlando office to find out what could be done to help Eatonville become a healthier place. One of the first all-black towns formed after the Emancipation Proclamation, Eatonville today has a high diabetes rate: nearly 25 percent of its population of about 2,200. Working together, Moore and Lowe secured a grant from Florida's Winter Park Health Foundation to offer diabetes classes and other educational and athletic activities for Eatonville residents. He helped start a Walk and Talk group that gets people moving and has recruited at least seven churches to host the ADA's Project Power, a faith-based diabetes education program aimed at the African American community.
While reaching out to others, Moore has kept his own health at the forefront: He has lost 70 pounds, and he walks and jogs at least three times a week. Now he manages his diabetes with diet and exercise alone. Lowe says Moore's commitment to his health—and to being around to watch his two children (Alvin Dillon Moore, Jr., 5, and Alyssa, 5 months) grow up—motivates people in the community even more.
"His enthusiasm and passion to change the course of diabetes in his community are contagious," she says. "Everybody in Eatonville knows Alvin, and they can't help but see the lifestyle changes he has made. His message to people who have not yet made the commitment to Stop Diabetes® is powerful."
To learn more
about the American Diabetes Association's African American Initiative, visit diabetes.org/liveempowered.