Maria Vela had been living with uncontrolled diabetes for 18 years. She was diagnosed in Texas in 1998, but received little education about diabetes after her diagnosis. In 2015, Maria and her family moved to Monett. Seeing her rising blood sugars and weight, her doctor referred her to diabetes education at the Cox Monett Diabetes Center.
Unable to afford the education, Maria was going to decline, until she learned about the Dining for Diabetes grant funds. Maria received comprehensive diabetes education in Spanish, where she learned about what diet and lifestyle changes she could make to help control her diabetes. She also learned about CoxHealth Spin classes at the YMCA, where she is now a regular.
As a result of her diet and lifestyle changes, Maria has lost 12 pounds and her blood sugars are now in control. Maria is very grateful for the Dining for Diabetes funds and the education she received, stating that it has given her the tools she needed to take control of her diabetes and improve her quality of life.