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FOOD FOR THOUGHT


Artwork: Dancing fruit and vegetables.

We invite blurbs and tidbit articles for inclusion in this column. Materials received may be edited and used as space permits. Products and services included in this column are for information only and do not imply endorsement by the Diabetes Action Network of the NFB.

INHALED INSULIN PROGRESS

Generex Biotechnology has been conducting clinicals of its RapidMist oral insulin spray technology and Oralin oral insulin formulation. In February, they delivered several papers about their findings, at the 5th International Congress of Immunology, held in Madras, India. They have carried out tests on both healthy volunteers and type 1 and type 2 diabetics. The research continues, and it will be some time before final U.S. approval is possible.

U.S. insulin manufacturer Eli Lilly and Company is now working with Generex to help develop an oral spray-insulin. Stay tuned; if and when the product reaches approval it will be major news, and you'll hear about it in VOICE OF THE DIABETIC.

FREE EYE EXAMS

We know diabetes is the #1 cause of new blindness in working-age Americans. If you have diabetes, you need regular eye examinations.

The American Optometric Association and the American Academy of Ophthalmology, along with the U.S. Health Care Financing Administration, are sponsoring a new eye-exam initiative. If you are 65 years or older, have diabetes, and have not had an eye exam in the last three years, call the National Eye Care Project Helpline: 1-800-222-3937. You will be put in contact with an ophthalmologist who will provide you a no-cost eye exam, and up to a year of follow- up care for any condition diagnosed at that exam. To be eligible, you must not have HMO or Managed Care coverage that would otherwise cover cost of the exams.

You can also call the American Optometric Association's Diabetes Hot Line: 1-800-262-3947, for information about this program.

VOICE Formats

VOICE OF THE DIABETIC is offered in two formats: standard print, and 15/16 ips audiocassette, "talking book" speed. Anyone who is currently receiving the VOICE in print and having difficulty reading it, may receive it on cassette at no charge. VOICE tapes require the special tape player available free to the legally blind from Regional Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, which can be obtained by telephoning the National Library Service at: 1-800-424-8567. Note: Attempting to play VOICE tapes (or any other tapes in NLS format) on a conventional music- speed tape player will yield incomprehensible "chipmunk sounds."

Periodically we receive requests for the VOICE in Braille or large print. It is not available in either of those formats at this time.

All a subscriber needs to do, to switch from standard print to tape, or to receive both formats, free of charge, is contact us at the VOICE OF THE DIABETIC Editorial Office.

THE BRAGGART

A strong young man at the construction site was bragging that he could outdo anyone in a feat of strength. He made a special case of making fun of Morris, one of the older workmen. After several minutes, Morris had enough.

"Why don't you put your money where your mouth is?" he said. "I will bet a week's wages that I can haul something in a wheelbarrow over to that outbuilding that you won't be able to wheel back."

"You're on, old man," the braggart replied. "It's a bet! Let's see what you got."

Morris reached out and grabbed the wheelbarrow by the handles. Then, nodding to the young man, he said, "All right. Get in."

Cygnus and LifeScan

Cygnus, Inc., maker of the GlucoWatch Biographer continuous glucose monitor, has signed a marketing agreement with LifeScan, maker of the One Touch, SureStep, and FastTake glucose monitors. If the Food and Drug Administration issues final approval, the two firms will cooperate on a pilot marketing program for the Glucowatch, in which 100-150 units will be released for "out of the lab" day-to-day use, and extensive data will be collected. The objective is to gather data on attitudes, practices, and experiences by both users and their health care professionals.

Stay tuned; this agreement, a sign that LifeScan takes the GlucoWatch seriously, looks very positive.

DIABETES INFORMATION IN BRAILLE

Although diabetes is the biggest cause of new blindness in working-age Americans, and there may be as many as two million Americans coping with both diabetes and serious vision loss, diabetes information in alternative format has been in short supply. Now there is a source for diabetes articles in Braille.

The Braille Group of Buffalo's diabetes collection includes:

101 Tips for Improving Blood Sugar ($11.95 donation)

ADA Complete Guide to Diabetes ($19.95 donation) Carbohydrate Counting (3 booklets) ($5.00 donation)

Diabetes A to Z ($11.95 donation)

Diabetic Cooking ($3.50 donation)

Exchange Lists for Meal Planning (FREE)

First Steps in Diabetic Meal Planning (FREE)

First Things First (set of 10 pamphlets) (FREE)

Magic Menus for People with Diabetes ($14.95 donation)

Quick and Healthy, Vol. II ($16.95 donation)

Simple and Tasty Side Dishes ($8.95 donation)

Southern-Style Diabetic Cooking ($11.95 donation)

Note: They expect to add more titles to their Braille list, so contact them for a full catalog and availability, and spread the word to your Braille-using friends who have interest in diabetes. As these materials are offered at a fraction of real cost, the Braille Group asks for a doctor's certification that the recipient is a Braille-reader either with diabetes, or caring for someone with diabetes. Call them for more information.

Contact: the Braille Group of Buffalo, Jill Pariso and Sue Kahn, 4660 Sheridan Drive, Buffalo, NY 14221; telephone: 1-800-561-8253; fax (716) 633-8952; e-mail: [email protected]

NEW INSULIN MEASURING DEVICE

People who are blind or losing vision, or who have manual dexterity problems, can need help drawing up insulin. There have been several adaptive devices on the market -- and there will soon be another. Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals Inc. announces the Innolet, a combination adaptive drawing-up aid and insulin injector. Already available in Denmark, the Innolet features a large "kitchen- timer" style dial, and a large grip/trigger.

The Innolet is not yet available in the United States, but expect it soon.

MORE BOOKS ON TAPE

VISION Community Services, a division of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind, offers a number of books on tape, recorded at talking book speed (NLS Format) on four tracks. Most books are $5 per tape. Their catalog includes a number of nonfiction texts and manuals, not just "literary" materials, and they will record your book or other document, for a nominal fee. They even offer a 4- track tape subscription of the Harvard Business Review, 10 issues, for $118 per year!

To order, contact: Robert Pierson, Recording Studio Coordinator, Massachusetts Association for the Blind, 23A Elm Street, Watertown, MA 02472; telephone: (617) 926-4232; fax: (617) 926-1412; e-mail: [email protected]; website: http://www.mablind.org

DIVISION BOARD

The current (2000/2001) national Board of the Diabetes Action Network of the National Federation of the Blind is:

President: Ed Bryant (Columbia, MO)

First Vice President: Eric Woods (Denver, CO)

Second Vice President: Sandie Addy (Prescott Valley, AZ)

Treasurer: Bruce Peters (Akron, OH)

Secretary: Sally York (Castro Valley, CA)

Board Member: Gisela Distel (Albany, NY)

Board Member: Paul Price (Valley Center, CA)

Board Member: Dawnelle Cruze (Portsmouth, VA)

ARTICLES NEEDED If you have diabetes, are a family member or friend of a diabetic, or a health professional with an interest in diabetes, we invite you to submit an article for publication in the VOICE OF THE DIABETIC.

Our philosophy regarding diabetes is positive. Do you have an inspiring, enlightening story? We, the Diabetes Action Network of the National Federation of the Blind, seek to show people they are not alone, and do have options, regardless of diabetic complications. If you have experienced ramifications, others, who may be facing the same side-effects, could benefit from what you have to say.

Perhaps you have not experienced complications--your unique insight, coping strategies, and lifestyle can still inspire others. Are you a relative, a friend, or a health professional? More than 267,115 VOICE readers could benefit from your story.

For information and article submission guidelines, contact: VOICE OF THE DIABETIC, 1412 I-70 Drive SW, Suite C, Columbia, MO 65203; telephone: (573) 875-8911.

NEW WEBSITE

Eli Lilly and Company now sponsors the website: www.lillydiabetes.com

Significant features of this site include the "tracking tools," graphs and charts to help the diabetic chart HbA1c test results, Blood pressure test results, and a "height and weight index" to help with calculation of body mass index, a ratio widely used to help determine ideal weight.

The site also includes product information, test results and success stories, as well as news releases about Lilly's many fund-raising activities. Check it out!

HEAR YE, HEAR YE, A RAFFLE

The Diabetes Action Network of the National Federation of the Blind reaches out and provides support and information to thousands of people. Because it costs to operate this valuable network and to produce the VOICE OF THE DIABETIC, we must generate funds to help cover these expenses. Our Diabetes Action Network has elected to hold a raffle, which will be coordinated by our division treasurer, Bruce Peters.

THE GRAND PRIZE WILL BE $500! The winning ticket will be drawn, and the winner's name announced, on July 6, 2001, at the banquet held during the annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind.

Raffle tickets cost $1 each, or a book of six may be purchased for $5. Tickets may be purchased from state representatives of our Diabetes Action Network or by contacting the VOICE Editorial Office, 811 Cherry Street, Suite 309, Columbia, MO 65201; telephone: (573) 875-8911. Anyone interested in selling tickets should also contact the VOICE Editorial Office. Tickets are available now! Names of persons who sell 50 tickets or more will be announced in the VOICE.

Please make checks payable to the National Federation of the Blind. Money and sold raffle ticket stubs must be mailed to the VOICE office no later than June 10, 2001, or they can be personally delivered to Raffle Chairman Bruce Peters, at this year's NFB convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This raffle is open to anyone age 18 or older, and the holder of the lucky raffle ticket need not be present to win. Each ticket sold is a donation, helping keep our Diabetes Action Network moving forward.

NFB SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

Photo: portrait. Caption: Peggy Elliott

The National Federation of the Blind will award $125,000 in scholarships this year. Individual scholarship amounts range from $3,000 to $10,000, and the competition is open to any legally-blind individual who will be a full-time, post-secondary student in Fall 2001.

All 30 scholarships are merit-based, and most are unrestricted. Entries will be judged on the criteria of academic excellence, financial need, and service to the community. The committee making the award decisions will be composed of blind citizens with distinguished academic and community backgrounds from across the country.

The scholarship winners will be presented their awards in July, at the 2001 convention of the National Federation of the Blind, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The NFB will also pay all expenses of scholarship winners to attend the convention.

The National Federation of the Blind is an organization dedicated to creating opportunity for all blind persons. With more than 50,000 members, it is the largest organization of blind citizens in existence, and it awards more scholarships to the blind than does any other group or organization. Recipients of Federation scholarships do not have to be members of the NFB.

Applications for the 2001 NFB Scholarship program must be received by March 31, 2001. Scholarship winners will be notified by June 1. We receive approximately 500 scholarship applications each year, so don't delay! Anyone interested may request as many application forms as needed from:

1. Mrs. Peggy Elliott, Chairman, National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Committee, 805 5th Avenue, Grinnell, IA 50112-1653; telephone: (515) 236-3366.

2. National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Committee, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, MD 21230; telephone: (410) 659-9314.

3. All NFB state officers.

4. Financial Aid Offices of educational institutions.

HERBAL CAUTION

Herbal medications and "botanicals" are as powerful as many prescription medications, cautions the American Optometric Association, and they can have serious side effects. Although these medications may be "natural," they are not harmless.

Herbs reported as (or suspected of) causing ocular problems include Black Cohash, Ginseng, Bilberry, Kava Kava, St. John's Wort, and a combination, marketed to "fight cellulite," containing Gingko Bilboa, Grapeseed Extract, Sweet Clover and Iodine.

Many herbals are harmless; some are probably beneficial. What is important is to remember they are medicines, and thus need to be reported to the doctor. Certain medicines interact with other medicines, and can have unpredictable side effects. It is vital your doctor know all the medicines you are taking -- including the ones you bought at the health food store.

VOICE FORMATS

VOICE OF THE DIABETIC is offered in two formats: standard print, and 15/16 ips audiocassette, "talking book" speed. Anyone who is currently receiving the VOICE in print and having difficulty reading it, may receive it on cassette at no charge. VOICE tapes require the special tape player available free to the legally blind from Regional Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, which can be obtained by telephoning the National Library Service at: 1-800-424-8567. Note: Attempting to play VOICE tapes (or any other tapes in NLS format) on a conventional music-speed tape player will yield incomprehensible "chipmunk sounds."

Periodically, we receive requests for the VOICE in Braille or large print. It is not available in either of those formats at this time.

All a subscriber needs to do, to switch from standard print to tape, or to receive both formats, free of charge, is contact us at the VOICE OF THE DIABETIC Editorial Office.

ARTICLES NEEDED

If you have diabetes, are a family member or friend of a diabetic, or a health professional with an interest in diabetes, we invite you to submit an article for publication in the VOICE OF THE DIABETIC.

Our philosophy regarding diabetes is positive. Do you have an inspiring, enlightening story? We, the Diabetes Action Network of the National Federation of the Blind, seek to show people they are not alone, and do have options, regardless of diabetic complications. If you have experienced ramifications, others, who may be facing the same side-effects, could benefit from what you have to say.

Perhaps you have not experienced complications--your unique insight, coping strategies, and lifestyle can still inspire others. Are you a relative, a friend, or a health professional? More than 290,315 VOICE readers could benefit from your story.

For information and article submission guidelines, contact: VOICE OF THE DIABETIC, 811 Cherry Street, Suite 309, Columbia, MO 65201; telephone: (573) 875-8911.

VOICE DISTRIBUTORS NEEDED

Since the VOICE is now offered free, our Diabetes Action Network will provide extra copies to anyone wanting to help spread the word. We will gladly send from five to five hundred-plus copies each quarter to be used as free literature. Medical facilities can order as needed for patients. Individuals can usually place copies of the VOICE in libraries, pharmacies, hospitals, doctors' offices, or other public locations.

Diabetes education is essential. Anyone who distributes the VOICE will be helping people with diabetes, and their families, to learn about the disease and its ramifications; to learn that they have options; and that their world is far greater than whatever "limits" may be imposed by the disease. If you would like to help spread the word by distributing the publication, please contact: Voice of the Diabetic, 811 Cherry Street, Suite 309, Columbia, MO 65201; telephone: (573) 875-8911, fax: (573) 875-8902. NOTE: Please provide a phone number so we can reach you.

SUBSCRIPTION/DONATION FORM

The VOICE OF THE DIABETIC is a quarterly magazine published by the Diabetes Action Network of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) for anyone interested in diabetes, especially diabetics who are blind or are losing vision. An outreach publication, it emphasizes good diabetes control, diet, and independence.

Donations are gladly accepted and appreciated. Contributions are not only tax deductible but are needed to keep the VOICE and the Diabetes Action Network moving forward to help people with all aspects of diabetes.

Members of the NFB Diabetes Action Network enjoy priority services and unique benefits such as a continuous free subscription to the VOICE, automatic access to committees covering all aspects of diabetes, free counseling concerning all facets of blindness and diabetes, as well as access to diabetics who have experienced complications.

The VOICE is free to any interested person upon request. Each subscription costs the Diabetes Action Network approximately $20 per year. To help defray publication expenses, members are invited, and nonmembers are encouraged, to cover the subscription cost.

To begin receiving the VOICE, please check one:

[ ] I would like to become a member of the NFB Diabetes Action Network and receive the VOICE OF THE DIABETIC. (Members are entitled to special benefits.)

[ ] I would like to receive the VOICE OF THE DIABETIC as a nonmember. (Nonmembers are encouraged to pay the institutional rate of $20/one year; $35/two years; $50/three years.)

Send the VOICE in (check one): [ ] print [ ] cassette tape for the blind [ ] both and physically handicapped (recorded at slower-than- standard speed of 15/16 IPS)

Optionally check this box:

[ ] I would like to make (or add) a tax-deductible contribution of $__________ to the Diabetes Action Network of the National Federation of the Blind.

PLEASE PRINT CLEARLY

Name:_____________________________________________________ Address:__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________

City:_______________________ State:______ Zip:__________

Telephone: ( )________________________

Send this form or a facsimile to:

Voice of the Diabetic 811 Cherry Street, Suite 309

Columbia, MO 65201

Telephone: (573) 875-8911 Fax: (573) 875-8902

Please make all checks payable to: NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND

 

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