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Living with Diabetes Classes Give Fairport Man Support

Monday, December 17, 2012

David Fillers, Living with Diabetes Participant

When David Fillers, 61, learned in August he had type 2 diabetes, he did what many people would do: He turned to the Internet to find more information about the condition. But Fillers also went to Highland Hospital’s Diabetes HealthSource, which referred him to its Living with Diabetes group sessions in October. The series of four classes provide guidance and discussion on how to manage a lifestyle with diabetes. “I picked up something every class,” said Fillers of Fairport, who brought his wife and daughter with him to the classes for support. “Even though I read about diabetes online, there is nothing better than being in class and interacting with other people. Some people asked questions I hadn’t thought about.”

Fillers had suspected he was diabetic, so he started to make life changes two months before his diagnosis. (He had been diagnosed with pre-diabetes five years prior and had a family history of the disease.) He altered his diet by looking at nutrition labels and weighing his food before every meal. Fillers says the classes, however, created a new awareness about portion sizes.

“One of the instructors brought in a tube of sugar to show how much sugar is in a regular soda,” said Fillers. “If I hadn’t already started to modify what I ate, that would have spurred me.”

The next series of Living with Diabetes classes will be offered in conjunction with the American Diabetes Association from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, Jan. 5, 12, 19 and 26 in the Calihan Conference Room at Highland (1000 South Ave.). A variety of guest speakers and experts present on topics such as food choices, physical activity, medications, emotions and stress management.

“They let you know they are there to assist and help with the lifestyle that you should strive for as a diabetic,” said Fillers who has lost 28 pounds since June and is successfully managing his diabetes. “It was a good education in a supportive way.”

The cost of the classes is covered by most insurers with one co-pay, and participants can bring a support person. Parking is free. For more information or to register, call (585) 341-7066. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes in adults increased by 50 percent or more in 42 states, and by 100 percent or more in 18 states between 1995 and 2010. Nearly 26 million Americans – more than 8 percent of the U.S. population – are known to have diabetes.

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