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DAWN HARPER Interview
by Emma Reagan & Mary Hewitt
Dawn has been doing track and field since high school. She got her shot at fame when she shocked everyone during the 2008 Olympics, winning the gold medal for women’s 100 m hurdles at a time of 12.54 seconds. Dawn is preparing to compete again in the 2012 London Olympics. She has expressed interest in being involved with the American Diabetes Association and spreading awareness about the risks of not taking care of one’s body. We at the ADA had the pleasure to meet Dawn and ask her a few questions about her commitment to the diabetes cause. The following is a short interview with Dawn.
Event: 100m Hurdles
PR: 100m Hurdles - 12.47 (2011)
Current Residence: Los Angeles, California
High School: East St. Louis Senior (Ill.) HS '02
College: UCLA 2006
Coach: Bobby Kersee
Manager: AFI Talent
1 x 2008 Olympic Games Gold medalist
1 x World Championships Bronze medalist
1 x World Athletics Final Silver medalist
2 x Olympic Game finalist
2 x World Championships finalist
2 x Rome Diamond League Gold medalist
2 x Daegu Diamond League Gold medalist
Q: What motivated you to want to be part of the ADA cause?
above: Emma Reagan, Dawn Harper, Mary Hewitt.
Dawn holding: a new product she's supporting called FootMate
For more information about Dawn go to http://www.IamDawnHarper.com
Interview with Samantha Clayton
by Emma Reagan
Samantha Clayton is a former Olympian and professional athlete, a mother of four, a wife, a fitness guru, personal trainer, and a spokesperson. She participated in the 2000 Sydney Olympics for sprinting and won silver and bronze medals in the Olympic AAA trials. She is also the face of the online video series “Be Fit in 90.” Recently, Samantha has become more involved with the ADA and the fight against diabetes. The following is an interview about health and her connection with our cause.
Q: Have you always been conscious about your own health? Was there a moment in your life that you realized that you wanted to be an “Olympian Athlete”?
A: I did not think about my health until I started planning to start a family. My life revolved around sports from a young age so being fit, healthy and diet conscious came naturally to me. However, when I was trying to start a family I realized that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. I had to ease off my training and up my calories to improve my body fat and fix my fertility issues.
My dream of becoming an Olympian started after competing in my first international track meet at the European junior championships as a teenager. Putting on my first uniform with a British flag on the front and flying on an airplane for the first time brought such pride to my mom who was a struggling single parent. I promised her that one day I would make the Olympics and travel the world just for her!
What does a healthy person look like to you? What are some basics in your definition of living a healthy lifestyle?
I believe that healthy comes in all shapes and sizes. Healthy to me is a state of mind that combines a positive body image with a healthy body fat percentage and good functioning body. I don't think there is a magic body size that states "I am healthy" it is many magazines false perception of what is healthy that is causing such low self esteem in men and women. You can look skinny but have a high body fat and therefore be unhealthy. I tell my clients and young girls that if you think of being healthy from the inside out, your outward body will eventually take on a healthy appearance. Just like the old saying “beauty comes for within” I believe the same of health.
My definition of living a healthy lifestyle is making good choices and being happy and active. 90% smart choices and 10% naughty choices make a well balanced happy life. I strive to eat healthy and feed my family healthy foods but once a week I love to give into my sweet tooth and eat chocolate cake. I enjoy being active but occasionally I will spend a day being lazy in my pjs. Balance is the key to sticking with a plan. Fun should be your number one priority when it comes to choosing a workout activity. There are so many ways to stay fit that picking an activity that makes you happy will make you stick with it.
You and your husband were both professional athletes, and are still involved in heath programs such as “Royce Clayton Family Foundation.” How would you say do you promote fitness and health to your children? In which ways do you encourage them to stay healthy and what advice would you give parents who are worried about their children’s health?
As a parent I believe you MUST lead by example, you have to practice what you preach. The biggest piece of advice I can give to parents is to eat with your kids as often as possible, don't be a short order cook, and prepare several different meals. Prepare one healthy meal for everyone. The earlier in a child's life that you expose them to healthy options, the easier it will be for them as adults to live a healthy life. Set your kids up for success.
People ask me: how do you make your kids eat that? "That" being homemade soups, vegetables, fish, etc. My answer is it was never a discussion. I am the mom I cook the food and serve it. I struggle with the conversation with many parents when they say, "your kids will only eat pizza and chicken nuggets!" I say, if you are getting the groceries, don't buy them unhealthy things. Be your child's best advocate, of course all they want to eat is ice cream, candy, and fried food. They are kids but saying no might save their life!
My kids look forward to fun Fridays when they can have a soda and what they call "kid food" but the rest of the time they are happy and they look forward to helping me in the kitchen to make healthy food.
My family foundation has donated money to research groups, educational initiatives, and in light of the obesity epidemic we are getting back on track with the foundation and becoming more active in the fight to get kids fit. We want to promote to kids that being active can be fun and rewarding. We teach the parents how to make better choices for their children’s health. Through free sports clinics and providing underprivileged kids with the opportunity to attend camps we hope to educate this generation in order to prevent the next generation being raised in an obesity epidemic.
You spoke at the LA convention center for an ADA expo on health and are becoming more involved in our cause. What inspired you to get involved with the ADA in our fight to “Stop Diabetes”? Are there goals that you want to achieve by taking part in the fight against Diabetes?
I am so passionate about fitness and health it shows. My spirit smiles and my skin glows when I am teaching exercise or sharing my ideas with others. I believe that with a disease such as type 2 diabetes that can often be prevented, avoided, and even reversed by making lifestyle changes and through education it would be crazy not to be involved! If someone said tomorrow that cancer could be eliminated by controlling diet, improving awareness and helping educate the younger generations I would want to part of that cure too! Having a mission that is not impossible, a mission that can change someone's life is a dream come true.
My goal is partly selfish. I want to raise four compassionate children. I want to raise children that have a desire to make a difference in the lives of others and I choose to lead by example. By helping and volunteering my time, I am ensuring that I am passing on a positive message to my kids and the kids that I help along the way. The whole “pass it forward” idea works.
In an interview you had with “Dr Fitness and the Fat Guy” you said that you think “everyone is pre-diabetic and should treat ourselves as such.” Could you elaborate on what this means in terms of nutrition and exercise?
In this consumer society where more is better and the majority of processed food is high in sugar or worse artificial chemicals, I do appreciate that it is difficult to always be fully aware of exactly what goes into one’s body. My statement was explaining that we are all human and all of our bodies have the ability to become diabetic. Without proper diet and exercise we are all predisposed to this disease.
My point is that we all have a choice, a conscious choice, to do what is required to avoid becoming diabetic as opposed to giving up and developing the disease. I want to inspire people and help people to find a love for being active. If you love yourself and love your family you will avoid this trap of unhealthy lifestyle and in turn avoid diabetes.
As I understand, your father in law has diabetes. Because of this, it also offers you insight into what it’s like to have someone close to you with this disease. I’m sure his condition requires emotional strength from you and your family. Can you describe the struggle of having a family member with diabetes? Are there coping mechanisms you used or would recommend to others going through a similar situation?
My husband witnessed his aunt live in a wheelchair after both if her legs were amputated, a common complication of diabetes. He was told as a child that her sugar was high and it was not until becoming a teenager and having his dad diagnosed did he realize what his aunt had.
My father in law manages his condition well and until he had a stroke he was medication free because he followed a strict diet and exercise plan. Now he is less mobile. His diabetes is controlled with medication. My children will often watch him check his blood sugar and he lectures them on candy and soda which is a blessing!
For me I became passionate about ADA when a close friend of our family's daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age seven. It was heartbreaking at first watching them struggle to come to terms with it and truly become educated in how to manage the disease. Olivia is now a teenager and is an advocate and mentor for young girls in Chicago at the ADA summer camps. She wears her pump where people can see it and is involved in sports. She is my hero. I love her dearly and hope to support her cause and educate young kids being motivated by her example.
She was healthy and active and did not get a choice about being diabetic. For those of us who have a choice, we should take it and run!
Interview with Jillian Rose Reed
by Emma Reagan
Vincent Sandoval Photography - Photographer
Q: Jillian, you play Tamara in the MTV hit Awkward. Which I feel is pretty fortunate for me in getting to talk to you because recently I’ve been obsessed with all things Awkward. I’m not sure if it’s meant for my age group exactly but nonetheless, 21 year old I am hooked.
A: Good! That's what I love to hear! You're never too old….40 year old men tell me they're obsessed.
Q: As a well known face on TV, I’m sure you get a lot of fan girls or boys approaching you now. How do you react to that? Is that, shall we say, awkward?
A: It's pretty amazing! The first couple of times it happened I was WAY more nervous than the fans were. I may have been shaking a little. I've had some awkward fan experiences, but most of them are just excited to talk about Awkward which is really great!
Q: I’ve heard rumblings of a second season right around the corner, are you excited to start a new chapter in Tamara’s life?
A: Absolutely! Tamara needs a fresh start…maybe a new boy…
Q: I’d say from watching the show that Tamara is a very caring friend, especially after her best friend Jenna betrayed her feelings and she was still there for her in hard times. Even though Tamara is sometimes a comical character, do you think there are messages to be learned from her?
A: Of course. I think our writing tends to make most situations comical while still teaching lessons. I feel Tamara is an amazing best friend, Jenna leans on her a lot. What more can you want in a girlfriend?
Q: So you know how you can google your name to see what pops up and usually you find either some embarrassing myspace photos or old blogs you no longer use. Well, I youtubed your name and one of the first videos to pop up is you doing a PSA talking about diabetes, so it looks like you’re really starting to get the message out. Are there any other ways in which you plan to spread the education about diabetes?
A: I hope so! So far I've not only reached out in ways like you saw, but I've been active in the association. Last fall I participated in the Los Angeles Step Out walk. I got to speak on behalf of the ADA and help raise money and awareness by walking! I hope the ADA will let me be a part of future events as well.
Q: Can you describe your Step Out Walk experience?
A: It was simply amazing. There's nothing like being surrounded by an inspired group of people who all want to make a difference. I met so many different people who were genuinely happy that I was there. Not only that, but I had a lot of fun!
Q: We’d love to see you more involved with the ADA. Plus, there are a lot of fun events yet to come! Are you planning on attending this year’s Walk on October 27th at Griffith Park? How else do you see yourself being involved in our cause?
A: I would LOVE to attend! I would honestly get involved in any way. I would love to attend more events and speak out on behalf of my brother and the association.
Q: On your website you talk about your brother developing type 1 diabetes as he was entering college. You and your family no doubt went through some hard times dealing with the changing lifestyle that goes along with being diagnosed. How have you and your family supported him through this change?
A: Thankfully, the ADA helped us a lot. We were offered classes to help us deal with everything and learn about diabetes and how we can help. Mostly, we've tried to be understanding of what he's going through and in the beginning, help him make lifestyle changes.
Q: Is it your brother then that inspired you to be involved with the ADA and the fight to stop diabetes?
A: 100%. I was nervous at first because I didn't want him to feel like all eyes are on him, but turns out he's really appreciative of the work I've been doing on his behalf.
Q: The numbers of people with type 2 diabetes is rapidly increasing throughout the U.S. 1 in 7 people in the county of Los Angeles are now diagnosed with diabetes. However, there are dedicated people like who are working hard to stop the spread of this disease. What changes would you like to accomplish in your lifetime in regards to diabetes?
A: If anything, I want to spread awareness. People need to know that diabetes is preventable. I hope by reaching out I can help people understand the importance of healthy living.
Marty Blount on the Blood Sugar Wizard Radio Show -
Tomorrow we get to speak with the fabulous Marty Blount from the Cure De TOUR Ride going on in LA on the 28th of this month-as well as the Fabulous Mary Hewitt who Represents the ADA office in LA's Marketing Department
Both will be chatting with me about the disease as well as the upcoming Ride.
DO NOT MISS IT!!! Call & tell all of your friends via Email or phone.
If you wish to call in-the number live is 714-529-0629
& on your AM dial in the Brea Area at 1680
Interview with Matt Gilman
by Emma Reagan
Matt Gilman has Type 1 diabetes and was diagnosed in 2004 when he was 24. Matt found out that he had diabetes when he visited the doctor because of increased blurry eye sight. He was diagnosed with Diabetic Retinopathy which is “a complication of diabetes that affects the eyes. It's caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina). At first, diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms or only mild vision problems. Eventually, however, diabetic retinopathy can result in blindness. Diabetic retinopathy can develop in anyone who has type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. The longer you have diabetes, and the less controlled your blood sugar is, the more likely you are to develop diabetic retinopathy.”* Matt has been riding bikes most of his life and when he was diagnosed he was afraid he wouldn’t be able ride again. It took months of practice, but Matt is back on his bike in a big way. He is now devoted to spreading information about the dangers of diabetes through demonstrations, educational programs, and being an example for others about what it looks like to thrive while living with diabetes.
Q: Have long have you been riding for?
A: I learned to ride a tricycle at three years old. I’ve always loved bikes but I really got into it at 13 years old and started to ride everyday. 14-16 I really started to get into BMX and mountain biking and then 16-17 I started mountain biking more and for a while I went back and forth between the two. In 2001 I got into doing trials on accident and that’s mainly what I do now that I’ve lost my vision.
Q: Have you tried mountain biking and BMX after you were diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy?
A: Yes, *he laughs* I have tried after being diagnosed. I did the Tour De Cure last year on the back of a tandem bike that my friend was riding on. We decided to do the 16 mile race but it was 100 plus degrees outside and we didn’t anticipate the difficulty so we didn’t finish. After the Tour though the guy that I work with and I decided to try and mountain bike together. He put zip ties on the spokes of his bike that would hit when he rode (kind of like putting a baseball card there). I followed him on the trail and he would look back every now and then to make sure I was still there. It was difficult but we finished the trail. I’m still not very good at mountain biking.
I also went to the local BMX trail which is a giant 2 mile track. My friend would tell me where things were and map it out for me. I almost cleared a double jump but I was a bit short and didn’t clear it. Now I know I want to go back.
Q: It’s all about determination right?
A: Exactly, exactly. I know I will jump it.
Q: Has losing your sight changed your dependence on other people?
A: I’d say greatly so. I’m used to being very independent. After I lost my sight the main difficulties for me is getting from point A to point B. Traveling to work is difficult. I use a transport system called NCA mobility which works although to get to work every day I have to walk one and a half miles to the bus stop. There’s no other service like it though so I have to take it. After work if my wife’s home she might be able to pick me up from the stop but if not I still have to walk back. Also with riding, I can’t go out on my own; I always have to go out with friends. If I’m riding, I need to situate myself before I start to identify objects and jumps. I still like to be independent as much as I can
Q: Do you have advice for people who find out they have diabetes?
A: Definitely. If I had taken care of myself better, I wouldn’t have lost my sight and I know it was because of neglect. I guess my advice would to be to make sure to watch what you eat, check your blood sugar levels regularly, visit a doctor, and make sure to follow your doctor’s advice. When I younger I was still in a teenage mentality that nothing can hurt me and that no one could tell me what to do. I got into the situation that I’m in now because I didn’t see the doctor regularly. Make sure you watch what you do if you have diabetes because you could end up blind or worse.
When I was diagnosed I was shattered thinking I could never ride a bike again. I didn’t have any goals and didn’t listen to my family because of course you think because they’re family they are just saying things could get better for you because they have to. I didn’t take them seriously. I really had to figure my situation out for myself. I want people to know that if you are diagnosed with diabetes and if you lose a limb or go blind that it’s not the end of the world. You can live beyond what you used to and you can do what you think is impossible.
Q: Is this why you are interested in being a speaker for the ADA? What are your goals in being involved?
A: Yes. I want to promote and spread awareness of diabetes. My condition could be prevented and so could other’s. If I change one person’s habits I’d be happy. But if I can influence thousands of people to be in control of their diabetes, I’ll know that losing my sight won’t be in vain. People ask me if I could, would I want to be able to see again. My answer to that is yes, I would like to do some of the things I miss out on like driving a car, riding bikes on my own, traveling easier. But, also no. Being blind gives me visibility to others. I’m not just another person with a message; I can be an example to others so more people will listen. I can motivate change and that’s really my goal with being involved with the ADA. To be in front of the right people to enact the most change I possibly can.
*definition from Mayo Clinic staff, www.mayoclinic.com
Check out this video of Matt doing bike stalls: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
To learn more about Matt Gilman you can visit his website http://blindbiketrials.com. There are many awesome videos of Matt doing stalls and video interviews. He is also working on a 30 minute documentary that should be coming out within the week.
Please check out Singer Songwriter Nikki Lang's new story in April/May Edition of Health Monitor Magazine. Balancing Diabetes and Life on the Road.
To get downloable tools, nutrition information, tips for dealing with side effects and tasty recipies visit www.guide2diabetes.com.
National Basketball Association Player Brian Cook
Stay tuned for Brian Cook’s Step Out event to raise money and awareness for diabetes! Thank you Brian for your support! Please click on Brian's Picture to learn more about the Step Out Walk.
Yes I am! I got into the wine business because of my upbringing in the wine country and always having a curiosity of fermentation. The beauty of wine is it combines art and science, two things that my parents encouraged from a young age. I started the winery with one of my best childhood friends who's family is in the wine industry and helped us get our start. We will always be grateful for their guidance and generosity.
Actually, I wanted to be a brewmaster. I started home brewing in 2002 in college, and ended up working for a local brewery in the same town. I started to study the German language in college so I could attend brewing school in Germany, but life had other plans for me. After a number of years in internet advertising while continuing to make beer and wine at home, I decided to take the plunge and do it professionally.
Sports have always been a huge part of my life, soccer mostly. I ended up winning a soccer state championship in high school, (the highlight of my sports career) and figured that was as good as it was ever going to get. My father played college football on a full ride scholarship so I attribute most of my ability to him. Since my father's passing, staying active has been the most important activity in my life. Health is all we have, its up to yourself to stay fit.
It's tough. I work so many long days, office, wine tasting, chatting with consumers, that its hard to find the time. I usually work out before lunch everyday for about an hour. That combined with healthy eating keeps me in relative good shape. Life is all about balance, just like eating. I eat a lot of sweets but counter balance them with lots of cardio. :)
I do have a direct connection to diabetes, I watched my father suffer from the illness for most of my life. The majority of it was undiagnosed, and my mother tried dearly for him to seek treatment but he seemed to be in denial. His death was due to complications of diabetes and for that I will always try to help spread awareness.
I would say that this disease is not to be taken lightly. If they care enough about their loved ones then they should start down a path of healthier living.
I'm most excited about potentially falling in love! It's a crazy forum that seems to agree with me, and I can't wait to see what the women will be like.
Jillian Rose Reed: Why Awkward's Sassy "Tamara" Is Sweet On Curing Diabetes
Here is the updated interview with Jillian the mention of StepOut: http://divagalsdaily.com/?p=
Help raise $ to beat diabetes! Half the profits for 48 hrs goes to ADA LA! http://www.amazon.com/Other-
NOTE: Listen to Rufus on the ESPN 710 "Weekend Warrior Show"
Rufus Dorsey was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At a very young age, Rufus took an interest in sports. He excelled in track and field, basketball, baseball and his first love, football.