East Texas Family Gives to Fight the Diabetes Battle

Ray Polk and his family donated $45-thousand to memorial hospital Tuesday to fund the CLIP program, which stands for Children's Lifestyle Intervention Program for diabetes prevention.

Diabetes is a disease that hits close to this family, not only is Mr. Polk a diabetic, but his sister is also, and his mother and father were too.

Polk said, "Patients or members of a family can somewhat control the disease if they know what to do."

Mr. Polk has been a diabetic for almost 30-years, and has been insulin dependent since 1981. He says about three or four times a year he has a scare. He can't imagine children going through this.

"I plan my day around exercise, my insulin, and my meals.  I can't imagine a juvenile doing that," Mr. Polk said.

Physicians, nutritionists and educators are involved in the pilot study that hopes to treat or prevent diabetes.  Sixth graders at Lufkin Middle School are the focus, not only because they're still young and impressionable, but because they are starting to make decisions. But the results they've found have been disturbing.

Tim Scallon, the director of clinical nutrition for memorial hospital said, "Out of the six-hundred Lufkin Middle School teenagers 33% are overweight and 17% are at risk of being overweight."

The money donated will be used to focus on lab work and other parts of the study.