"Have a kind heart and be ready to help people when they're in need."
When Nanette LittleWalker was diagnosed with diabetes a few years ago, she didn't just focus in on herself. She looked outward and recognized a big need in the Native American community where diabetes is an epidemic. She immediately set out to help.
Nanette saw well-intentioned but often ineffective efforts to reach Native Americans with diabetes. She wanted to bridge the gap. So with the Department of Indian Work and Regions Family Physicians, Nanette held a diabetes screening where several people were newly diagnosed with diabetes. Then she took it one big step further.
Nanette created the Family Education Diabetes Series, free educational sessions geared toward Native Americans. The sessions include topics often chosen by Nanette, a glucose and blood pressure screening and a diabetes-friendly meal cooked by Nanette herself.
She also gives of herself by serving as a peer mentor to those newly diagnosed with diabetes in the "Partners in Diabetes" program through Health Partners.
Nanette says her family and volunteer medical team have been invaluable. When someone tells her she has saved their life, she says "It's not me that's doing it. Through this education, you're saving yourself."
There's proof that Nanette has both a kind and humble heart.
Designated charity: $1100 to the Department of Indian Work - Family Education Diabetes Series