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Diabetes Week 2012

Published: November 19th, 2012

Category: Feature

Complimentary Patient Screenings

Complimentary patient screenings were held on the UF campus, promoting awareness of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.  Kathryn Parker, the program manager for diabetes education and nutrition therapy at UF&Shands, had a goal of screening more than 250 people — the number of people who were screened last year.  A “Hula Hoop Flash Mob” was also held: “The symbol of diabetes awareness is a circle, and that’s a hula hoop,” Parker said. “It’s exercise, and people need exercise.”  These events were covered by The Gainesville Sun.


5th Annual “Light the Tower”

Five years ago, UF became the first university in the nation to hold a lighting ceremony in recognition of World Diabetes Day and Diabetes Awareness Month. Learn about other University of Florida firsts. This year, several UF buildings, including Century Tower and the Southwest Recreation Center, continued the tradition of going ‘blue’ in helping celebrate the diversity of diabetes, a disease that afflicts nearly 26 million individuals across the United States and millions more worldwide. We were privileged to have Mayor Lowe, Dr. Desmond Schatz, Dr. Ken Cusi, and Chris Machen (UF First Lady) speak at the event.


Alachua County School Meals celebrates WDD

On World Diabetes Day, the Alachua County Public Schools served “Blue Circle Cookies” at lunch to raise awareness about diabetes to some 44 district schools. Nutritional information was provided. The message? People with diabetes can eat cookies just like people who don’t have diabetes – it’s all about moderation!  More pictures and information can be found on this feature article.




The Ryan Reed Racing Experience

Ryan Reed is a professional NASCAR driver for Venturini Motorsports. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in February 2011 at the age of 17. At the time he was told his racing career was “over.” But Ryan didn’t give up. Not only is he about to complete his rookie season in the ARCA Racing Series, but he has also founded Ryan’s Mission in an effort to build awareness about diabetes both in and out of the racing community and to show all people with diabetes that you don’t have to let the disease stop you! Ryan Reed and his racecar traveled to the University of Florida campus for a fun day with the community.  Pictures can be found on our Facebook page.

A Celebration of Life: Art and Photography Exhibit

“Art is the attempt to give permanence to the beauty of a thought.”
– Matthew Major, Dec. 1984 – February 2012

Matt was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in January of 1986, when he was just over one year old.  He received care for most of his life through the Shands/ UF Pediatric Diabetes Endocrinology program and Children’s Medical Services. Matt dedicated himself solely to his art studies, and was fascinated by human physiology and the microscopic world, largely due to his lifelong involvement in his own health care. He devoted himself to a style of work he called Physiological Abstraction, using visual elements from the microscopic world to create seemingly macroscopic landscapes. We were so grateful to been have given the chance to display some of Matt’s work.  “I want to show people that we contain a universe within us just as we are contained within a universe, from the very small to the very large, life is an amazing journey.” You can see more of Matt’s work at


A Celebration of Research and Patient Care

Members from UF’s academic community and surrounding Gainesville community had the chance to learn about the most current research happenings at the UF Diabetes Center of Excellence. Topic presenters included updates on type 1 and type 2 diabetes,  Fatty Liver Disease, Diabetic Retinopathy, Bariatric Surgery, and more. Research tours of labs and the newly constructed Institute on Aging were also offered.


5th Annual “Blue Circle” Photo Contest

With so many excellent entries, the judges had a difficult time choosing the winners. The pictures selected for special recognition (1st through 3rd) were chosen based on creativity and the ability of the picture to convey how the entrant advocates for diabetes in his or her day-to-day life. To see the winners and all our entries, please follow this link.