Made in the 956: Valley organization raising diabetes awareness

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A local non-profit organization is working to raise awareness of type 2 diabetes in the Rio Grande Valley.

Unidos contra la diabetes, or United Against Diabetes, was formed nine years ago after several groups noticed a growing problem in the Valley.

“Methodist Health Care Industries, Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation and Knapp Community Fair Foundation, they saw a need for improvement in our health, especially for type 2 diabetes,” UCD collective impact Director Moises Aronja Jr. said. “They came together, they brought organizations together. We have about 16 organizations that make up our steering committee…and the initiative took off.”

And with the rate of diabetes being so high, this initiative is a valuable resource. 

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“So when you look at the data for the state of Texas and the country, there's one in 10 diabetics,” Aronja explained. “When you look at the data for the Rio Grande Valley, it's scary. It’s one in four. Type 2 diabetes is not just a single illness, it's a chronic illness. You more likely have another chronic illness as well."

In a nutshell, CD is here to educate you. 

“Type 2 is preventable. Type 1 diabetes is normally seen in children, and it's an autoimmune disease, “Arjona said. “So that one, your body is not producing enough insulin, so you need to go ahead and have the insulin. In type 2, your body is already resistant to the insulin it's producing.”

For a look at free glucose screenings throughout the Valley during the month of April, visit our Heart of the Valley page.

So, how can you prevent type 2? By eating properly, working out on a regular basis, and reducing your sugar intake. 

“And it's all do-able. I know it's easy to say, but if we really care about ourselves — and that's the main thing — but if all of us really work together on reducing diabetes in our families, we can be successful at it,” Arjona said.

Unidos contra la diabetes, Made in the 956.


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