Lions Clubs International staff organized a series of activities last week in honor of World Diabetes Day (November 14, 2015).
LCI is committed to supporting Lions in their diabetes awareness, prevention, and service efforts. Visit the association’s website for diabetes project ideas and planning resources or write email@example.com for more information.
There are an estimated 387M people worldwide suffering from diabetes and this number is expected to increase to 600M by 2035. Diabetes has reached global epidemic proportions. The good news is diabetes is preventable through education, awareness, and early intervention.
Since the 1980’s, Lions have made concerted efforts to stem the growing tide of diabetes – through awareness building events, screening activities, and donations to LCIF’s grant programs, which support the development of comprehensive healthcare systems. From July 1 to October 31 alone, 459 Lions clubs have reported 815 diabetes awareness and education events benefitting 239,732 people. The numbers for diabetes screenings are equally impressive with 124,872 people served in just 4 months.
For those Lions who are already involved in diabetes prevention efforts, don’t forget to share with LCI and LCIF what you are doing, the impact you are making, and what additional resources you need to increase your impact. You can share your stories through Submit a Photo, MyLCI Service Activity Report, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those Lions who want to learn how to get their club involved, please visit lionsclubs.org and lcif.org for project planning resources and funding opportunities. Or make a donation to LCIF today to support Core 4 Diabetes and SightFirst grants. Email email@example.com for more today. We look forward to hearing from you!
Today’s special Veterans Day post is by Bill Bradfield, a Lion and a Vietnam War veteran who was diagnosed with diabetes due to exposure to Agent Orange. Learn how he has been fighting diabetes by living a full, active, adventurous life while raising funds for diabetes research. World Diabetes Day is November 14 – be sure to encourage people in your community to lead healthy lifestyles in the fight against diabetes. Find more Lions diabetes resources on the LCI website.
I am Bill Bradfield, proud member of the Lions in Cadillac Michigan District 11E1 and a Vietnam War veteran. Like thousands of other veterans who served their country in Vietnam, I was exposed to the chemical defoliant Agent Orange, which has been proven responsible for causing many types of cancer and Diabetes Mellitus (type 2). I am both a cancer survivor and a diabetic because of my exposure to it.
When I returned from Vietnam, I needed something to take my mind off the war. I have been an avid snowmobiler since 1968. My first club was the Sno-wish riders based in Lansing, Michigan. The name was derived from our annual fundraising ride, which was for the “Make-A-Wish Foundation.”
I continued to enjoy the sport of snowmobiling with a passion, always donating to good causes such as the American Cancer Society, the Pink Ribbon Riders for breast cancer, the American Heart Association, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Diabetes Research Institute, the American Diabetes Association, the Canadian Diabetes Association and many functions for the leader dog programs and White Cane.
In 2005 I was diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus (type 2). There was no history of diabetes in my family. When the results came back from the Veterans Administration, they confirmed that my diabetes was caused due to my exposure to Agent Orange. I decided to deal with my medical situation as well as possible. Shortly after I was diagnosed, I decided to combine my winter snowmobile adventures with trying to help find a cure for diabetes.
The first thought was to organize a snowmobile ride as a fundraiser to help find a cure while supporting research. The ride began on February 15, 2010, in Michigan. We rode through five states, five provinces, four time zones and 4,000 miles of the most beautiful and sometimes most treacherous landscape of North America. The ride finished 22 days later in Tok, Alaska, and we raised an amazing $102,000!
In 2012 I led a coast to coast motorcycle ride on the snowmobile I rode to Alaska – now converted to a three-wheel trike! The ride went from Cadillac Michigan to the Boston Harbor to San Francisco to the Sturgis Bike rally in the Black Hills of North Dakota, and back to Cadillac — a total of 8,389 miles. We rode through 33 states. The ride was dedicated to all veterans of all wars, and we raised $17,000 for diabetes research.
In February of 2015, we broke our own record and organized a “World Tour” on snowmobiles for diabetes research. There were a total of 62 riders through six countries: the United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. The total mileage collectively was 54,000 miles! We traveled through 12 time zones and raised $37,000 for diabetes research and awareness.
The 2016 ride will be in 2 phases. Phase 1 will be a ride across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to International Falls Minnesota and back. Phase 2 will be a ride in Yellowstone National Park, Montana, Idaho and the Black Hills of South Dakota. All Lions clubs are invited to participate and donate.
In 2017, for the celebration of the Lions Centennial, we are planning an expedition that will start in the state of Maine and end at the Top of the World highway to Tok, Alaska. We will be encouraging Lions all through North America to participate. We expect to travel over 5,000 miles on snowmobiles raising funds for diabetes research.
There are 29 MILLION PEOPLE in America today diagnosed with diabetes, 9 MILLION in Canada, 387 MILLION worldwide with a projected increase of 205 MILLION by the year 2035. In 2014 the cost related to diabetes just in the U.S. was 612 BILLION DOLLARS! Someone is diagnosed worldwide every 17 seconds and someone dies from this dreaded disease every 7 seconds!
Lion Bill Bradfield
Cadillac, Michigan, President MichCanSka International
Imagine you need a kidney transplant—imagine the anxiety and stress of putting your health in someone else’s hands. Now imagine traveling to a new city to get the operation, knowing you don’t have—or can’t afford—a place to stay during your recovery.
This is the situation facing many people who travel to Madison, Wisconsin, for transplant operations at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and lack the resources or social connections to secure housing while they’re in town. Transplants are complex surgical procedures that typically require significant time for recovery and preparation, so having a place to stay is essential to a successful operation.
Thankfully, there’s hope.
Since January 2013, Restoring Hope Transplant House (RHTH) has been a home away from home for patients who are in the Madison area to receive medical transplants. The home provides up to six weeks of temporary housing for transplant patients—and their adult family members and caregivers—in an environment that offers compassion and supports healing.
And it works. In fact, it works so well that there often aren’t enough beds for potential residents.
After learning that the house was experiencing weeks at a time without vacancy, the Lions from Multiple District 27 D1 decided to help. In addition to fundraising, Lions secured a $75,000 Standard grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) to help fund an expansion of RHTH.
The first phase of RHTH’s expansion plan, completed in the summer, includes the renovation of the current patient rooms to include double and twin-sized beds, as well as the improvement of a community kitchen, on-site laundry and other amenities.
With the second phase of the expansion plan, set to begin in the near future, RHTH hopes to expand its capacity from five private rooms to 16, dramatically increasing its ability to serve patients in need.
After years of fundraising and with contributions from 10 different districts, Lions’ and LCIF’s contributions have helped RHTH secure more than $200,000 of the more than $1 million required for the expansion.
“We are so grateful for [Lions’] support of transplant families and Restoring Hope Transplant House,” says Cindy Herbst, executive director and co-founder of RHTH. “We are beyond words with your extremely generous donation that will allow us to expand this home. The stories of our guests are moving and powerful. Having the Lions as partners gives us greater courage, resolve, compassion and energy to do the right thing in serving others.”
For information on Standard grants and to find out how your Lions club can apply, visit lcif.org.
This article originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of LION Magazine.
The Quezon City Kawilihan Lions Club, along with the local Leos, recently held a “Heroes for Hope” activity. Dressed in fun and inspiring costumes, the Lions and Leos brightened the days of those staying at the hospital — especially the children. Sometimes even the simplest act can make a big impact.
Today’s photos were submitted through the LCI Submit a Photo page.
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