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South Bend business partners work to shine a light on diabetes

SOUTH BEND, Ind. –Two business partners are working to bring awareness to diabetes in South Bend and to bring support to those who have it.

Wednesday night, on World Diabetes Day, the river lights in downtown South Bend will shine blue thanks to Maggie Seitz Mendez and Taya Keeler. Both are registered nurses; and both have lived with diabetes for more than 20 years.

“As someone who has Type 1 diabetes, I can tell you that I feel like the city supports us and is recognizing hey this is an issue, there are so many people with this disease, let’s draw some awareness to it,” said Seitz Mendez. “It makes me feel great that our city is supporting us.”

Requesting the river lights shine blue is just one way the two are being proactive about diabetes awareness and support. They also created a business last year called Diabetes Coaches.

“We are like life coaches but we specialize in helping people fit their diabetes to their lifestyle,” said Seitz Mendez. “What really makes us unique is that we recognize and acknowledge that diabetes care is very individualized.”

With the business, the two hope to send a message throughout the community to let everyone who has diabetes know they’re not alone.

“There are not a lot of resources for people with insulin-dependent diabetes,” said Keeler. “So that’s kind of one of our main goals is to expand the Type 1 diabetes support locally. Having the lights shine blue on World Diabetes Day here locally is just a way to let people with diabetes know that you’re not alone. We want them to feel supported and empowered.”

The two hope to make the lighting an annual event, and are already planning to expand the event next year.

For more information on the event, click here.

 

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