Leslie Lam

Chris Fleck
Wednesday - January 18, 2012
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Photo courtesy Leslie Lam

Leslie Lam (pictured above left with Mike Ching and Dee-Ann Carpenter) leads her life very appreciatively. Lam, who was crowned Hawaii’s first Mrs. America in 2000, had previously worked as a director of the American Heart Association and currently is the executive director of American Diabetes Association,

“I have come to the realization that diabetes is one of the underlying factors of poor health in general because it affects all of the organs, and that is why I gravitated toward the association,” says Lam, who was featured on MidWeek‘s cover Aug. 30, 2000.

Lam points out that if national trends continue, in Hawaii where diabetes is more prevalent in ethnic minorities one in two children born after 2000 will be diagnosed with the disease. Lam has helped spearhead ADA’s newest initiative, Living With Type 2 Diabetes, a program that revolves around educating those diagnosed and their loved ones, and how they can better approach and manage the disease.

“We really want to help families go through the process of learning what diabetes means, how their diets need to be changed, as well as other information to make sure whomever is diagnosed can incorporate better decisions into their daily lifestyle,” she says.

On March 17, ADA will host its Step Out Walk at Kapiolani Park, a fundraiser designed to raise awareness.

“We are looking forward to a robust event; we’re expecting more than 3,000 participants. There will be a health fair with a multitude of health vendors and information,” says Lam.

Diagnosed with her own hereditary heart condition, Lam received a pacemaker in 2002, a procedure that has opened her mind to taking control of her own health choices. Living wisely, she has been able to complete several marathons and enjoys the peace that yoga brings to her each morning.

For more information on the Living With Type 2 Diabetes program, visit diabetes.org/living or call 947-5979. To get involved in the Step Out Walk either as a participant or a corporate sponsor, visit diabetes.org/stepouthawaii.

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