Diabetes b-ball tourney

Feb 212005
Authors: Sara Crocker

The face of diabetes:

Diabetes affected 18.2 million people in 2002

Racial Distribution of diabetics over 20 years old

Non-Hispanic whites: 12.5 million or 8.4 percent

Non-Hispanic blacks: 2.7 million or 11.4 percent

Hispanic or Latino Americans: 2 million or 8.2 percent

American Indians and Alaska Natives: 107,775 or 14.5 percent

Source: www.diabetes.org

Hartshorn Health Services matched over $500 raised by Greek organizations through a basketball tournament to raise diabetes awareness.

The National Pan-Hellenic Council – the governing body of traditionally black fraternities and sororities – Interfraternity Council, Latino Greek Council and Panhellenic Council hosted the tournament in conjunction with Black History Month on Feb. 12 at Moby Arena.

The purpose of the tournament was to raise awareness about diabetes, which affected an estimated 2.7 million blacks nationwide in 2002, according to www.diabetes.org. The black population makes up about 11 percent of those affected by the disease.

"It's definitely a huge issue among the African American population," said Khala McAfee, a member of PHC and senior English major.

Blacks are 1.6 times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites, according to www.diabetes.org.

McAfee said she did not play in the tournament, but she attended to show her support and help raise awareness.

Erin Datteri, the vice president of leadership development for PHC, said it was a good opportunity for these Greek organizations to work together.

Datteri said they donated $500 from their own funds and some people also donated money at the tournament. Hartshorn matched the funds, raising a total of more than $1,000. The money will be donated to the Wellness Zone in Lory Student Center to raise awareness on campus about diabetes.

"Hartshorn was just impressed with that effort and decided to match what was raised," said Lynn Kalert, a registered nurse for the health center and the Wellness Zone.

Kalert said she is currently meeting with people to brainstorm ideas about the best methods to increase knowledge about diabetes on campus.

"For mainstream students, it's probably something they haven't given a lot of thought to," Kalert said.

But, she said it is important for students to understand diabetes because of the increase of Type II among youth.

Diabetes is onset when the body cannot produce or use insulin properly. Insulin is needed to help the body convert some foods into energy, according to www.diabetes.org.

There will be a plan by April to increase awareness among students, Kalert said.

Before the playing began, Datteri, a junior technical journalism major, and Willa Proby, a senior psychology major, hosted a brief discussion on diabetes and distributed cards that provided information as well as risk factors about the disease.

"I hope everyone got a better understanding of this illness and if not I hope it sparked some curiosity," Proby said in an e-mail interview. She is also a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.

About 80 people played in the tournament, Datteri said, but the teams were created by mixing everyone up.

Tony Daniels, interim assistant director of Black Student Services, separated the players by gender and race and then counted them off to form teams, Datteri said.

"It was really inclusive," said Nathan Castillo, a senior psychology major. His team won the three-point shootout. Castillo, a member of the Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity said he came out to support the Greeks, Black History Month and his family, which has a history of diabetes. "It's something I grew up with."

Datteri said this event was also personal to her as well because she has Type I diabetes. She said she was pleased with the event.

"It was amazing," Datteri said. "It was just great that we could all get together."

Tangerine Graham, a sophomore political science major, said she was happy to see the diverse group of people who came to support the tournament.

"Despite everyone's differences, everyone came out for a good cause."

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