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Meet Derick Truter - a Mr South Africa 2017 contestant

“There are so many people who are still misdiagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and many more still undiagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. I believe with the support from Mr South Africa, and the Mr South Africa brand, we can create more awareness, reduce discrimination and increase support.”

Derick, thank you for making time to talk with us! So many exiting things are happening in your life at the moment and we are curious to know more. Congratulations for making it into the top 30 for Mr South Africa!

When were you diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes?
I was diagnosed in October 2010 (It was in the October School holiday)

How did your diagnosis affect your life?
At 1st it was a very huge shock to me, I was a Grade 8 student, and was on school holiday visiting my grandparents. Spending my October school holiday in hospital was definitely not my way of having fun! But with the support of my friends and family, I am now fully in charge of my life again.

With reference with diabetes, what are your biggest challenges and how do you overcome them?
My biggest challenge, is diabetes itself. Diabetes has the tendency to kick you, when you least expect it! I focus on healthy eating, and regularly checking of my blood glucose, before meals and exercise. I believe in checking my glucose levels regularly.

Congratulations for making it onto the top 30 for Mr South Africa! Please tell us more about the reason why you are competing?
Thank you, it is much appreciated. Mr South Africa, Oh, what I great journey this is! Besides the fact that I want to help people, and help make a difference in our country, I actually want to be a voice for those without a voice.

My Top 3 concerns that I want to focus on are:
1. Diabetes (There is not enough awareness, and most people misunderstand this disease, and I believe there is a need for much more support and understanding)
2. I am 100% against ABUSE! (Woman, Children, Animals, Men – We are all God’s creation, and we need to respect it!)
3. Cancer Awareness (CHOC & CANSA)

I have had a couple of big events over the past few months, and awareness campaigns! It is heartwarming to see how we can all make a difference.

How will your participation in the Mr South Africa contest improve awareness of these issues?
The media, can be a powerful tool, if used correctly! I want to get as much possible health insurance companies, hospitals and doctors involved in awareness campaigns. There are so many people who are still misdiagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and many more still undiagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

I believe with the support from Mr South Africa, and the Mr South Africa brand, we can create more awareness, reduce discrimination and increase support.

People often connect an emotional response to a glucose reading - what advice would you give them?
My heart and my mind fully understand every emotion that a person with diabetes has to deal with; sometimes a BG result can make or break a day...

My best advice is that you should test your glucose levels regularly, because that is the most accurate way to control your sugar and diabetes.

Take care of yourself, and never allow diabetes to get you down, you are stronger!

What do you like most of the Diamond MINI?
I found it awesome, that I can use it with my Phone. FORA definitely made an impression with their latest technology.

I am a very active on-the-go person, and I love the Bluetooth function, as well as the very clear LCD display.  

Have you Downloaded the iFORA App yet?

Technology is revolutionising the way we manage diabetes. The development and application of advanced technology is central to FORA’ s mission to improve healthcare and the iFORA App is a great way to understand your diabetes management. It creates a perfect platform to share and update your current progress with your family, doctors and care providers.

The iFORA app can easily be downloaded to any Android or Apple phone.  The best place to start on the App, is the “FAQ?” option on the lower bar. The “Getting Started” link will assist you in the pairing of your  smartphone with your Bluetooth Meter.

Another valuable link under the FAQ option is Diabetes 101. This is a practical tool to improve your basic knowledge on diabetes and how diet, exercise and medication can affect your blood sugar.

Glucose targets for pre-meal, post-meal and  bedtime can easily be set in the “Settings” option on the lower bar. It is important to discuss these targets with your medical team as they might differ from person to person.

“Daily Routines” is another valuable way of improving your understanding of your diabetes management. Setting timeframes for your daily routine will help understanding trends in your blood glucose so much faster!  It will assist your medical team to make more informed decisions about your medication and lifestyle.

Greater knowledge and understanding will empower you to make more informed choices.

Bad news is time flies, good news is you're the pilot

After some fascinating discussions with people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, I have come to the conclusion that one of the biggest challenges faced is time.

A young child goes to school and we somehow expect them to remember to test their blood sugar before a test, a recess or before a sport activity. Recess or sport for them, are associated with excitement and testing their blood sugar is the last thing they are thinking of!

I spoke to a parent that was very frustrated as her child was writing a test - not knowing what his blood sugar level was. “His life would be so much easier if he would just for once remember to test before he writes a test or before recess!” she exclaimed.

If only we outgrew forgetfulness but we don’t...

Adults would often tell me that they too forget. Life is a balancing act and we often chase deadlines in our busy work schedule. Even a stay at home parent would tell you how quickly time can pass when you are balancing a household. It seems that this challenge is shared by adults and children alike.

The good news is that all the FORA Diamond meters can remind you to stick to your doctor’s advice on when to test. You have the flexibility to set up to 4 reminder alarms a day and to adjust them according to your changing needs. Having a meter that reminds you to test empowers you to be the pilot!

*It is important to follow your doctor’s advice on how often you should check your blood sugar levels.

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