Health Team

Bike ride to raise awareness of diabetes

Posted June 4, 2010

— A local woman diagnosed with Type II diabetes is sharing her journey to better health in an effort to help others like her suffering from the disease.

Marci Williams is participating this weekend in the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure, a two-day bicycling event to help raise awareness and money for diabetes research.

Since 2002, more than 1 million new cases have been diagnosed each year in the United States. About 5.7 million Americans have diabetes but don't know it.

Local woman defeating diabetes Local woman defeating diabetes

Five years ago, Williams was one of them.

At a routine physical exam, blood work revealed that she had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type II diabetes.

"I really should have known better, given that my mother was a Type II diabetic," Williams said.

She was 45 years old and weighed 323 pounds at the time. Her doctor offered her a stern warning to lose weight or not live to see age 50.

So Williams started on a diet plan and exercise program that included daily walking.

"Pretty soon, five minutes of walking turned into 10, then 15 and then turned into 30 minutes," Williams said.

And the walking turned into cycling to and from work. She then tried a yoga class.

"I was hooked, absolutely hooked," Williams said.

After losing more than 180 pounds, she's off insulin and only on one oral medication. Williams says she's committed to never returning to her old ways.

"This is a lifetime lifestyle commitment to keep the diabetes in control," she said.

Last year was her first time in the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure.

"That was a very, very personally gratifying moment for myself," Williams said. "I wasn't the fastest. I didn't finish first, but I did it, and that's what was important to me."

Now, she's not satisfied with just participating. Williams hopes her story will inspire others with diabetes, or at risk of it, to reduce their risk of the life-threatening complications with diet and exercise.

"If I can do it at 45, when I was diagnosed, anyone can do it," she said.

The Tour de Cure starts in Cary at 8 a.m. Saturday at Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park and ends in Southern Pines. Registration for the event is still open.


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  • tim1962 Jun 9, 2010

    This story should help those who need a little help with the topic.

  • electrodude Jun 9, 2010

    Sorry Animal Lover, but you need to learn a few things about diabetes before you comment. Your downright disrespectful diagnosis of all diabetics is disgusting. I wish I had the option to just change my diet and never have to face another needle again, but guess what, I can't. Type 1 diabetes cannot be reversed by dieting and it is not brought on by bad diets or lack of exercise. Learn about diseases before you speak as it makes you look like an incompetent person!

  • mlwmorales Jun 8, 2010

    I am a type 1 diabetic and have been for 12 years. I was diagnosed when I was 25 years of age and at the time I was 140 pounds. Currently, I'm 135 pounds and at the height of 5'7. (As you can see I'm not fat) My pancreas has stopped working and I need insulin 24/7. Yes, diet and excercise can help me control my diabetes BUT I will never be able to get off of insulin. Please do not comment unless you are educated on this subject.

  • kdg372003 Jun 8, 2010

    Animal Lover - you need to learn the differences between Type I and Type II. Type I can not be reverse.

  • tim1962 Jun 7, 2010

    Animal Lover,
    I think you may have failed to realize that many diabetics are Type I where their pancreas has stopped producing insulin. This is usually genetic factor that has nothing to do with the person's diet and exercise. For many Type II diabetics changing their diet and exercise can help control blood glucose levels, but to label all of us with one broad brush is a bit much.

    May you or your family never have to deal with this disease. In 2010 another 1.6 million people will be diagnosed.

    Tim - Type II with an A1C that is at non-diabetic levels thanks to diet, exercise and medication.

  • CestLaVie Jun 7, 2010

    Marci: An admirable change in nutrition & exercise, but:

    The enormity of this fund raising is becoming downright stupid. WHAT you're raising funds for is to maintain ADA's existence & not much more. The same holds true for Amer Cancer Soc.

    Diabetes is cured by changing one's diet: no meat, dairy, poultry, sugar, but GOBS of veggies, beans, seeds/nuts & fruit. You CAN reverse this disease. CUT the processed foods & you cut out most of the junk from your diet causing this problem. Maybe people don't understand WHAT a processed food is: anything that comes in a box or bag or can. If it's not fresh & in it's natural state, it's someone. Why are you letting the food industry make you sick?????????

    Get off your duff & get some exercise...walking, if nothing else. And don't poke up a sweat!

    This too hard to do to beat this disease?? Fine. Give all your health & money to the food, medical & pharma industries & let them call the shots for YOUR life!!