WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO CHANGE THE WORLD. AND LIONS. Iowa Lion Steve Schuelke would have loved to join the ranks in the Lions’ fight against diabetes, says his wife, Sue Schuelke, also a Lion from Oelwein, Iowa. But in his own way, he led the fight. Schuelke died from heart disease and diabetes complications in April, at the age of 62. He was 18 when diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and after many years and many struggles, “his body gave up but his spirit never did,” she says. He led an active life despite heart disease, kidney disease caused by diabetes and diabetic retinopathy. He volunteered at schools and a diabetes camp for kids, was always willing to share his story if it helped just one person and proudly introduced his diabetes service dog to others. Diabetes is a personal and progressive disease, but it represents a personal struggle for more than 420 million people worldwide now. And Lions are seizing the opportunity to stop the epidemic growth and change the world. Project blueprints are being developed to give clubs customizable tools to implement and support diabetes camps, community health and screening programs, and community recreation programs and facilities. Pilot programs are under way around the world to help guide the development of the blueprints. And the new Lions Global Action Team brings together leadership, membership and service to put the plans in action. Schuelke would have worked with Lions to build some of those programs in his own community, but most importantly, he served as a natural role model for one of their two daughters who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 11. “He wanted to show our daughter how you live with this,” says Schuelke. “He didn’t have a choice with type 1. But he never let it stop him. He never said, ‘I can’t do this because I have diabetes.’” One Lion can make a difference. And when 1.4 million Lions join together to fight diabetes, we can make a world of difference. Ready to launch your own project? Here are five ways your club can join the fight against diabetes: Organize a community support group for those with diabetes and their caregivers. Partner with a local healthcare provider to organize a diabetes screening. Sponsor a child in need to attend a diabetes camp or organize your own camp. Organize a school or community vegetable garden to encourage healthy eating. Start a fitness club to keep adults in your community active. Learn more at lionsclubs.org/diabetes. OUR TRADITION OF SERVICE WILL BE MORE THAN HONORED. IT WILL BE TRANSFORMED.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/Lions+Can+Be+The+Difference+In+Diabetes/2851833/430248/article.html.