The numbers are staggering. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), almost 19 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with the disease but another seven million people have undiagnosed diabetes.
Helping spread awareness of diabetes prevention and symptoms was an important goal of “Healthy Steps,” a week of activities conducted in February 2011 by Future Business Leaders of America–Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL), a student organization in the College of Business Administration at Florida International University (FIU).
“Each year we have a community service project, and this year our chapter voted to direct our efforts toward communication and fundraising for ADA,” said Iris Curtis, vice president, community service.
Members of the American Marketing Association’s collegiate chapter at FIU provided volunteers and helped the FBLA-PBL promote and advertise Healthy Steps.
The week kicked off with Awareness Day on Tuesday. FBLA-PBL members handed out information from the ADA as well as flyers describing the week of activities.
Wednesday’s panel discussion included Curtis’ mother, also named Iris Curtis, who has diabetes. Other panelists were Tania Rivera (MS ’01) from FIU’s Dietetics and Nutrition Department and Beatriz Gomez Galan (BS ’91), programs director, Southeast Florida ADA.
A cooking demonstration, presented Thursday by the Student Dietetic Association, showed an audience of 45 people how to prepare healthy dishes.
“Through a partnership with the FIU Rec Center, all fitness classes on Friday were free,” Curtis said. “More than 200 people took advantage of the opportunity.”
Saturday’s “Sports for a Cure” event had teams of dodge ball and basketball players vying for trophies, and approximately $250 was raised for the ADA.
The week culminated with a Sunday’s brunch event entitled “It’s Not Over,” held at the Graham Center.
“Being aware of diabetes and living healthy is a lifelong process,” Curtis said.
ADA expresses appreciation to campus group.
“It was my pleasure to work with the FBLA-PBL,” Galan said. “It’s great to see a group of young adults that are not only interested in making a difference by raising much-needed dollars, but also by spreading awareness about diabetes, its risk factors and complications.”
Yanyn San Luis (BA ’10) and Jose Toscano (BA ’97) serve as FBLA-PBL chapter advisors.