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Louie Cheek, 98, Loves Life

Sarah French with her mother, Melinda French, her grandmother, Addie Griffin, and great-grandmother, Louie Cheekby Ed Bryant

Louie Cheek (yes, that’s her real name) is 98 years old. She has type 2 diabetes. If you ever thought diabetes was a gigantic drag on life, then Louie Cheek is one lady you should meet.

There’s a lot of diabetes in her family. Four of Louie’s five sisters had it, and her daughter had it. Even her granddaughter experienced diabetes during pregnancy.

Diabetes is very important to this family; in fact Ms. Cheek’s great-granddaughter, Sarah French, Miss Missouri, has selected diabetes and fitness as her special platform.

Louie was diagnosed about 25 years ago. She explains “I don’t take insulin.” Upon learning that she had type 2 diabetes, Louie began to modify her lifestyle. “I changed my way of eating. I don’t eat fried or fatty foods, and I drink a lot of water. And I walk. I used to walk three miles a day, but I’m getting to where I can’t do that anymore—not that far. But, I can still touch my toes with my hands” she boasts.

Louie takes care of herself. She tests her blood sugar regularly, almost every day. She advises, “Eat a good breakfast, and exercise.” Doctors would certainly agree.

“I’m still going strong,” she assures me. She has a special message for Voice readers: “Get up and go exercise. Take care of yourself. You have to have a positive attitude, to make yourself feel good every day. Don’t get up talking about your ailments! Forget your ailments! Get up and go whether you feel like it or not, and don’t say a thing about it. Sure enough, you’ll get to feeling good. It’s the best thing to do.”