PITT COUNTY, N.C. – On Sunday, November 13, 2022, the East Carolina University (ECU) Women’s Basketball team hosted a Diabetes Awareness game as they faced the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Seahawks in Greenville, N.C.
Diabetes awareness messaging was played throughout the game with an inspirational video of ECU Women’s Basketball Coach Kim McNeill speaking about diabetes and the impact on her family as well as the impact on families in the area.
Coach McNeill said, “helping to spread diabetes awareness is extremely important to me. Diabetes is very prevalent in my family, and I want to do whatever I can to help the diabetic community.”
Between quarters, several diabetics and supporters involved with the fight against diabetes were recognized, including a young girl recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She and her family shared their experience noting how diabetes has changed their world.
The team also auctioned off mini basketballs designed by each player to raise money for Pitt County Health Department (PCHD) diabetes patients.
The proceeds from the 2022 Diabetes Awareness game totaled $1,100 and was donated to PCHD’s Diabetes Program to purchase diabetes testing supplies for patients in need.
Coach McNeill, along with several players and Diabetes Program participants were on hand at the Health Department on Friday, March 31, 2023 to present the check.
“It is such an incredible opportunity to be stewards of the funds raised by the ECU Women’s Basketball team for diabetes supplies. Living with diabetes is not easy, and it can be very expensive. By raising this money, the ECU Women’s Basketball team is helping to bridge the gap for those in need who otherwise would not have access to diabetes testing supplies. This literally could save someone’s life, as an extreme low blood sugar or sustained extreme high blood sugars can be deadly. The heart, passion, and dedication Coach McNeill has for this cause is inspiring,” said Angie Watson, PCHD Diabetes Program Coordinator.
Diabetes is a chronic, widespread condition characterized by higher than normal amounts of sugar in the blood. It is estimated that almost 30 million Americans have diabetes, plus an estimated 86 million have prediabetes. In Pitt County, one in three people have prediabetes with 90 percent of those being unaware of it and one in every 10 has diagnosed diabetes. With both prediabetes and diabetes, lifestyle changes that focus on healthier eating, increased physical activity, stress reduction and coping skills can improve quality of life.
For more information, contact Jennifer Hardee at 252-902-2424.
The Mission of Pitt County Government is to enhance the health, safety, and well-being of our community by advocating for and providing quality services in a friendly and cost-effective manner. Learn more: www.PittCountyNC.gov