Laura Blaker to lead Diabetes walk 5.6

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

When Laura (Flint) Blaker of Morenci learned she had a problem with diabetes, she thought she could take care of the problem on her own.

That was a mistake.blaker.diabetes.jpg

“It was probably six months before I went to class,” Laura said. “I tried to do it on my own. But what I was doing wasn’t best for me.”

She thought she had it figured out—she thought that diet food would make a difference—but she eventually learned that her condition wasn’t improving at all.

Why the hesitation to get help?

“I thought they would come down hard on me and make fun of my diet,” Laura said.

She was wrong. She got just the help she needed from the nurse leading the class.

“My sugar started coming down really fast,” she said.

Since starting the class eight months ago, she exercises regularly, she has blood sugar level is down inside the normal range and she’s lost 60 pounds—so far.

Due to Laura’s success with the class and her enthusiasm for diabetes education, she was chosen to serve as the honorary chairperson of the 2009 Walk For Diabetes May 16 in Tecumseh.

“We’re thrilled to have her serve as our honorary chairperson,” said Terri Kowalski, director of diabetes and nutrition education for ProMedica Health Systems. “It takes a special kind of person to serve in that position.”

Diabetes was no stranger in Laura’s family.

“I grew up watching my mother, grandmother and aunt struggle with diabetes daily until they all eventually passed away from complications of this awful disease,” Laura wrote in a biographical essay for the diabetes walk brochure.

A family history of diabetes places a person in a high-risk group, but lifestyle factors can also bring on the disease. Lacking in exercise and overweight, Laura was hit by a double whammy.

“I think mine was both,” she said. “I probably had it for years without knowing it.”

She found out about it one night when she became very ill and was taken to the  emergency room.

“The first thing they did was test my blood,” she said.

She was soon taking two medications to help control the disease. That’s when she thought she could handle it at home, but failed.

Diabetes education classes at Herrick Medical Center made all the difference for her. She learned to read food labels, she learned the importance of regular exercise and she learned a lot about proper diet. She also received a lot of positive encouragement along the way.

“There are horrible complications with diabetes. I’m living proof of that,” Laura said. “I wish my mother would have been able to receive the same education that I have.”

Walk for Diabetes

Laura Blaker will lead the way on the 5K walk through Tecumseh May 16. Although a few participants might not choose to go the entire route, it won’t be any big chore for Laura. She now walks up to six miles a day with her exercise routine.

Walkers pay $15 to participate in the fund raiser and families pay $20.

“What’s special about this fund raiser is that it’s for the local community,” said Terri Kowalski. One hundred percent of the proceeds go for patient scholarships.”

Not all participants in the diabetes education programs are able to pay, she said.

“The scholarships are there so no person who needs help goes unserved,” Kowalski said.

The walk goes through downtown Tecumseh and also along the river. Strollers aren’t recommended because of the unpaved park trail.

Donations can be made for those who aren’t able to participate in the walk.

The walk is planned on the same day as the community’s Promenade event.

For more information about the walk, call Brian Stella at 517/424-3399.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016