NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins shared his story about his experience with diabetes at a special event Saturday to recognize the participants of the 2015 Diabetes Care for Life Program.
The program was an eight-week diabetes self-management program made available through a unique community partnership facilitated by Straub Clinic & Hospital and was supported by an education grant from the Danish multinational pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk.
“Being a world-class athlete, you think that you’re invincible and nothing could ever happen to you,” Wilkins said. “But when your life slows down like everyone else, you become normal, you find out you have a lot of the same problems everyone has, and diabetes is one of those things.”
Wilkins said he had to make lifestyle changes consisting of diet, exercise and medication.
“Take a walk, wash your car, get yourself physically moving. You can’t have one without the other. You can’t sit at home, taking medication and just change your diet thinking life is going to change. All three components keeps you healthy.
“Diabetes is very hard to detect when you’re in great shape,” he said. “But it was not until a year after I retired that I found out that I was diabetic, and my sugar levels were over 350, and so I said, you know what, I’m getting back to doing some things that I used to do. So in two-and-a-half months, after working out, change my diet, taking medications, I lost 33 pounds.”