This news is not sweet at all

Every once in awhile, you hear a statistic that makes your blood run cold.
You stop short.
It may take a second or two . . . or maybe three or four . . . before you can respond.
The one I heard the other day from the folks over at the Diabetes Education Center at Catskill Regional did me in.
The generation of children we’re raising – I’m raising – is expected to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
Wait a second.
Yes, they said shorter.
With all the medical advances, with all the technology quite literally at our babies’ fingertips, we’re setting them up for a life less than the best we have to give.
Why?
Because we’re letting our kids get fat. We’re saying it’s OK to eat three slices of pizza or pick more chicken nuggets over a helping of green beans.
Frankly, weight stinks.
I’ve struggled with it all my life, and there’s nothing fun about lying on your bed, sucking in your breath and tugging with all your might on a zipper that just won’t budge.
But I could always buy bigger pants.
I can’t buy my daughter five more years.
This weekend, I’ll be front and center at a cause that’s more dear to my heart than any I’ve championed over the years (and yes, I realize, there have been quite a few).
I’ll be trying to convince people to give up just a little part of their Saturday to head to the hospital in Harris to make life a little bit better for their kids, grandkids – anyone they love.
Technically, it’s a diabetes education center fund-raiser.
I know, even typing those words I’m bored.
I’d rather call it what it is – a Diabetes Expo and Celebration, sponsored by us here at the Sullivan County Democrat and the folks over at Thunder 102 who have shaved their heads for me (and kids with cancer) and now find themselves on sugar strike to help me make a mark on a growing population of diabetics.
Celebration does mean a good time. Food, fun, free stuff – I promise it all.
There will be a silent auction – a chance to win some good stuff for your hard-earned dollars.
And did I mention free stuff?
More importantly, there’s the cause.
We have a lot of fat people in Sullivan County. We have a lot of not-so-fat people in Sullivan County.
We have people like me who have diabetes on both sides of the family and realize – whoa, I’m next.
To eat that last Oreo or not has become a question not of the price of a pair of jeans at the Gap but the price I pay down the line when heredity catches up with me.
To stock up on Halloween goodies or opt for non-food prizes was an easy choice. The eyeball bouncy balls and rubber bangle bracelets won handily.
Not allowing Jillian the sugar cereal she’s spotted on the shelf at the grocery store will be much harder.
But there’s that old adage about the village raising a child.
If we all learn to dabble in the bad stuff in moderation. If we each gave one gooey treat for Halloween and a handful of fun stuff.
If we helped keep the Diabetes Education Center alive for the next generation . . .
I’m putting my money into the event on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the hospital cafeteria – so I won’t have to buy Jillian five more years.

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