Observed every November, National Diabetes Month is an important element for the Muscatine Diabetes Walk Project as they focus to support, empower and encourage individuals living with all types of diabetes in Muscatine County.

  • Approximately 422 million people worldwide manage their diabetes daily.
  • Approximately 30 million people (Type 1: 1.25 million and Type 2: 29.1 million)
  • Approximately 300,365 people in Iowa manage their diabetes daily.
  • In addition, 810,000 people in Iowa, 35.2% of the adult population have prediabetes with blood glucose levels higher than normal but not high enough to diagnose with diabetes.
  • According to the Muscatine County Health Improvement Plan 2015-18, page 21; “36% of Muscatine County population is obese, and Muscatine ranks 97 of 99 counties for percentage of the adult population with a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30.”

How do we support individuals living with all types of diabetes in Muscatine County?  How do we decrease the percentage of people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in Muscatine County?  These questions and others were addressed in April 2016 by a group of Muscatine citizens wanting to make a difference, henceforth the visionary foundation was established for the Muscatine Diabetes Walk Project – Managing All Types Together grassroots effort spearheaded by Kim Seligman.

The mission of the Muscatine Diabetes Walk Project is to provide diabetes education programs, outreach activities, support groups, and to strengthen partnerships with other community health agencies, in addition we strive to bring awareness to diabetes research.  The Muscatine Diabetes Walk Project is a component fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine, a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization.

In the past 18 months, the following support and programs have been provided for individuals living with diabetes:

  • The pilot year-long Muscatine Diabetes Prevention Program is underway with nine participants that will conclude on January 18, 2018.  The Muscatine Diabetes Walk Project, the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine, Trinity Muscatine Public Health, and the Muscatine Health Support Foundation have collaborated through community partnerships and grant funding to provide this Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recognized lifestyle change program to prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
  • The A1C blood test is offered at outreach events at a reduced fee or free.  This test provides information about a person’s average levels of blood glucose over the past three months.  This outreach initiative has led some individuals to understand the importance of warning signs that their body was giving them.  Diabetes warning signs are frequent urination, extreme thirst, extreme fatigue, blurry vision, weight loss, or tingling/pain/numbness in your hands and feet.
  • The adult diabetes cooking demonstrations collaborative effort with Muscatine Hy-Vee Food Store and United Way of Muscatine gave seniors with Type 2 diabetes and individuals diagnosed with prediabetes fresh ideas and recipes to help ease the challenge of blood sugar control.  Cooking demonstrations for individuals managing Type 1 diabetes is scheduled to be held in January 2018.
  • Adult diabetes support groups are held on the second Tuesday of the month except for July and December at the Hy-Vee Food Store Club Room (2400 Second Ave.) from 6-7 pm.  Type 1 diabetes outreach events are planned quarterly.
  • Diabetes Camp Scholarships are offered for Muscatine County youth to attend a diabetes camp in Iowa.
  • Strengthening partnerships with other community health agencies include the “Finding A Healthier You” program with the Muscatine Community YMCA.  This four-week program is a partnership with Hy-Vee Food Store, Trinity Muscatine Public Health and the Muscatine Community YMCA to offer a new approach to healthy living along with a free month family membership, free workout orientation and free childcare.
  • Walking Friends Group was implemented for walkers to walk together on Tuesdays for 30-minutes.  This outreach event takes place at the Muscatine Community YMCA (1823 Logan) from 5:15-5:45 pm.  Research has proven that 150 minutes of exercise weekly will help lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and reduce stress.
  • The American Diabetes Association researched Diabetes Busters Program introduces diabetes 101, nutrition and exercise in a one-hour program to third graders.  This partnership and grant funding is with the Muscatine Community School District, the Muscatine Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine and the HNI Charitable Foundation.
  • Lastly, our annual 1.5-mile Walk takes place the first Friday evening in May at the Discovery Park.  This outreach event celebrates all individuals living with diabetes along with fundraising for our programs, outreach events and diabetes research.

There’s joy in the journey as we walk alongside each other, and the Muscatine Diabetes Walk Project extends a heartfelt thank you to Muscatine County for your continued help in supporting, empowering and encouraging individuals that live with diabetes 24/7!   #TogetherWeCan

Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.