Blair’s experience was not unique within his community. The percentage of adults with diagnosed diabetes is second highest among Black Americans (12.1%), behind American Indian and Alaska Native persons 2. Seeing this play out in the health of those close to him, he has seen diabetes change the lives of many.

“Being a Black American, it is extremely prevalent in our community,” he shared. “Despite this diagnosis being common, many people still struggle with shifting their lifestyle post-diagnosis.”

This included himself at a point on his journey living with diabetes.

“I wasn’t always a good patient. At the beginning of my diagnosis, I started doing some lifestyle modifications and making sure I was taking all of my medicines, etc. And then it just kind of dropped off. When you live with diabetes, there is a lifestyle modification you must make. You have to be committed to those lifestyle changes in order to get your health on track,” he says.

Diabetes management can come as a learning curve for some. While it can be a challenge, people like Blair Page help their peers through encouragement and education. Embracing a healthy lifestyle aids in maintaining or improving critical health numbers 3. Speaking with a doctor about health challenges can also be critical in remaining successful. Blair describes the value in treating your physician as a partner.

“Once you’re diagnosed, that doctor/patient relationship changes. Your doctor should become your partner. If you’re not working with the physician as a partner you won’t have the best possible outcome,” he says. “You have to make sure you’re keeping up your end of the agreement.”