Published On: Thu, Jul 25th, 2013

Why All This Talk About Diabetes?

papoandi5 years ago when I joined the #PorTuFamilia committee, I did it for two reasons… the first was simply because my friend Helene asked me to, the second because I remember how many people in my family had been affected by Diabetes. Both my paternal grandparents, my father, my aunts and uncles even my lil cousin Mariel (she was Type 1).  Despite having had so many people in my family plagued by this disease, I knew nothing about it. It was never discussed… they just had it, it made them sick and it was a constant battle with the “azucar”.

I did not have diabetes at that time, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes 3 years later after a near death bout with Pneumonia. The steroids took me from pre-diabetes while I was in the hospital to a head on collision with it as I walked out the building.

My relatives all suffered because they really did not know what to do to or because they really did not listen to their doctors. Either way… things have not changed much in 30 years. People are still losing limbs, going blind and dying even though the resources are out there.

My idea was to create the #portufamilia social media campaign to get people thinking about their health, assess their risk for diabetes and if they have it, to learn how to stop it by leading healthier lifestyles.  We have done a great job of that so far…

The campaign has a goal… it is just not viral pics of people holding signs, videos of really cute kids teaching other kids about diabetes and all of the the unity that comes with it.


For New Yorkers, it is more of a call to action… for YOU and YOUR FAMILY to come out to St. Mary’s Park this August 17th and get screened, learn how to prevent diabetes if you do not have it and if you do have it, learn how to live a long healthy life.

This event is amazing… and it educates thousands of people each year in a festive environment. It promotes healthy living, exercise, cooking our favorite cultural dishes in a healthier way and when it is all over… it saves lives. It has saved mine.

I would love to see you at this event… with your family, will you join me so together we can be a healthier community?


Special Performance By Frankie Negron and

Celebrity Chef Ingrid Hoffman will be doing cooking demos!

Why All This Talk About Diabetes?