When I was first diagnosed with diabetes in 1984, I did not attach any importance to it, regarding it as one of those diseases that will get cured after a while with appropriate medications. Thus, I started looking for a cure from far and near. Unfortunately, I got a resounding “NO CURE” everywhere I went. I was however assured of effective management regime that will enable me live a normal, fulfilled life. Faced with this reality, I accepted my lot and religiously continued my medications. I am glad I was pro-active in my diabetes management. This has kept me fit, strong, healthy and happy even in my twilight years. This is a confirmation that diabetes need not rob one of a fulfilled life. The secret to this is: know and be yourself.
Shortly after I was diagnosed with this condition, my paternal family started experiencing diabetes-related deaths (father, brother, cousins) while some siblings were diagnosed with the condition. These convinced me that the condition runs in the family and it set me thinking about what I can do to help people living with the condition. As has been advised, if life gives you lemon, you will be fulfilled if you make lemonade out of it. This was what I set out to do.
The opportunity came in year 2000, when the then Pro-Chancellor of the Olabisi Onabanjo University— (the Ogun State Owned University) Professor ‘Biyi Afonja, invited me to contribute to the development of the State University. I decided to do something that will readily meet the needs of the larger society while at the same time enhance the profile of the University. To this end, I chose to collaborate with the University and its Teaching Hospital to establish a Diabetes Center that will create community awareness about diabetes and empower sufferers to manage the condition and their lives.
My goal in conceptualizing the Center was to put in place a forum for educating people about diabetes. My collaborators however suggested and I agreed that, to make the proposed Center a Center of Excellence, it will not suffice to only offer care but that it should conduct intensive, meaningful and relevant researches into local foods and herbs that will help in diabetes management. We believe this will facilitate the development of homegrown management regime, which is likely to be relatively more affordable and user-friendly than Western treatment regime.
This is how Talabi Diabetes Center was conceived and birthed.
I definitely cannot on my own actualize the lofty goals the Center has set for itself; we need you to join hands with us to water the seed we have planted by starting the Center. I therefore appeal to you to extend your hand of fellowship to the Center as you spread the good news of effective management about diabetes and support the activities of the Center in every way that you can.
Mr. Olumuyiwa Talabi