Angie Stone experienced the unexpected at an amusement park years ago, and it had nothing to do with a new death-defying ride. She simply had been going to the bathroom, a lot, on her way to the park. Then her legs cramped up and she could hardly walk. Little did she know that those symptoms would trigger a series of events that would change her life: She was told to get checked for diabetes.
“I was always on the go, and thought I was too busy to develop something like this,” Stone told BET.com “I thought at the time that diabetes went along with bad habits, but I was the last one in my family to eat junk food.”
What the Grammy Award-winning singer didn’t realize was that she was a perfect candidate for diabetes: She had a family history of diabetes and was fighting weight problems.
“My mom was a diabetic. Her sister was a diabetic, so I was already a candidate,” said Stone, who has been living with diabetes for nearly a decade. Now, Stone has not only been working on ways to keep her own diabetes under control, but she has been helping others become aware of the disease.
Stone, who just finished work on a film, “The Pastor,” and is working on a book and a clothing line, is traveling to various communities as part of the F.A.C.E Diabetes program, which, sponsored by Eli Lilly, helps African Americans understand their risk for the disease and how to control it.
More than 20 million Americans suffer from diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. African Americans are 1.8 times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic Whites, the association says.
Stone recalls how she felt when she first found out she was diabetic, and she hopes to help others avoid the “tears” and “fear” she felt. She admits that, at first, her new diabetes-fighting routine was a bit daunting.