Magic helps reduce diabetes risk

Submitted by Glenn Aufderhar

Handy Andy the Magic Man, a teacher and entertainer, used his magic skills to teach elementary school students on Lopez and Orcas island how to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes on Friday, March 8.

Andy wowed about 100 students in the third- through sixth-grade at school assemblies sponsored by the Lopez Island and Orcas Island Lions Clubs.

“The idea of a magic show educating kids first hit me at the San Juan County Fair, where I saw Handy Andy working magic tying balloons and doing sleight-of-hand tricks with a passel of kids clamoring for more,” said Glenn Aufderhar, Secretary of the Lopez Lions Club.

Lopez Island Lions Club then contracted with Roy, from Grays Harbor, WA, to create this educational entertainment to help highlight the growing threat of diabetes, and his performance got rave reviews from the students.

“Our local club has spent about $2,000 and donated hundreds of volunteer hours helping people understand the warning signs of diabetes and what to do about them” said Jerry Scherzinger, DVM and club Treasurer.

“There are 47,000 Lions clubs worldwide,” said Diana Hancock, Lopez Lions Club President, “with an international membership of 1.4 million. The international organization will spend more than $300 million helping communities in many ways. Our local Lions Club is excited to have initiated this entertaining diabetes educational program on Lopez where it will have an impact on our local elementary students.”

“Type 2 diabetes used to be virtually unknown in pediatric patients, but no longer,” according to Robert Wilson, MD.

The Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health jointly funded a 10-year study which found that newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes cases in youth aged 10 and 20 increased four times more rapidly than Type 1 cases between 2002 and 2012.

“Type 1 diabetes has historically been known as a childhood disease. From infancy the patient’s body is unable to create or use insulin sufficiently to maintain the proper blood glucose level,” states Lyn Lindboe, RN, CEN, CDPE, Diabetes Educator. Compliments of the Lions Club, Lindboe provides diabetes coaching on Lopez.

“The difference with Type 2 diabetes, is the person’s system was once able to manage the blood glucose level normally. Then over time the body lost that ability,” clarifies Robin VanHyning, RN, MSN of Cornerstone Healthcare Training Company and co-chair of the local Lions Diabetes committee.

This is only one of many community service projects Lopez Lions sponsor or host. Other activities include the 4th of July Fun Run and parade, hosting the Christmas ship, recycling eyeglasses, funding scholarships, setting up blood drives, collecting for the local food bank and White Cane days, and assisting the Thrift Shop and TIOLI.