Diabetes in my Family
Diabetes in my Family and How it Has Influenced my Relationship with the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Nigeria
Shortly after I was confirmed a diabetic, my father, brother and some paternal cousins died of some diabetes-related health issues. This pattern of the causes of their deaths convinced me that the condition runs in my family and it set me thinking about what I could do to help persons (whether related or not) living with diabetes. As the saying goes, if life gives you a lemon, go ahead and make lemonade out of it and you will be pleasantly surprised at the result. This was exactly what I determined to do – I encouraged myself to bring something good out of my diabetes.
The opportunity came in the year 2000 when Professor ’Biyi Afonja, at that time the Pro-Chancellor of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (formerly known as the Ogun State University) invited me to contribute towards the development of that University. I decided to do something that will readily meet the needs of the larger society and at the same time enhance the profile of the University. Among the several suggestions of the University, I chose to collaborate with the University and its Olabisi Onabanjo Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) to establish a diabetes centre that will create community awareness about diabetes and empower sufferers to manage not only their health conditions but also their lives.I feel that by doing this, I shall be showing my fellow sufferers a lot of empathy – something that they certainly need.