The American Diabetes Association (ADA), headquartered in Atlanta, tapped local music artist Jermaine “J Young MDK” Carter to be an ambassador for the organization.

Carter was recently diagnosed with diabetes at 30-years old.

“I want to educate minorities and the youths on diabetes because it affects them more than any other group of people”, Carter said.

Carter said the organization decided to collaborate with him after an interview with one of their associates. They told him that they loved his enthusiasm for spreading the word about diabetes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Diabetes Statistics Report for 2020 states that 34.2 million Americans have diabetes, meaning is one in 10 people who have the disease.

About 50 percent of African Americans are diagnosed with diabetes or are borderline diabetic.

Carter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. This type of diabetes typically appears in juveniles. Type 1 diabetes has rare cases unlike type 2 diabetes which is more common in people.

“I was losing a lot of weight and was very fatigued, so I knew something was wrong with me,” Carter said. “Good thing I went to the doctor when I did because things could have gotten worse.”

Type 2 diabetes is more common where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or resist insulin. Type 1 diabetes does not go away, people affected can only try to manage their sugar levels and live a healthier lifestyle. However, people who have Type 2 diabetes can reverse the effects with exercise and diet.

“The best thing was finding out because I was able to pivot and change my eating and workout habits for me to stay as healthy as possible,” Carter said. “I have to shoot insulin at least twice a day.

“When I wake up, I have to take insulin, before I go to bed, I have to take insulin and depending on what I eat during the day I may have to take a shot of insulin depending on what I am eating. Plus, I have to prick my finger to check my sugar levels throughout the day. I also have to visit the doctor on a regular basis to keep control over my diabetes.”

As an ambassador, Carter uses his social media accounts, with over 400k followers on Instagram, to announce about his recent diagnosis and word about diabetes, including the causes, the effects and also treatments that they have in place.

In all of his interviews, he makes sure to speak on having diabetes and being aware of this illness.

Jermaine has also held a Black History event on Facebook live with his mother and ADA to discuss diabetes. Additionally, he hosts an IG live #Beafriendfriday where ambassadors discuss the type of diabetes they have and what are some necessary steps they take to make sure they stay as healthy as possible.

“I could not be afraid to share my diagnosis. Yes, I was scared but I knew God put me in this position for a reason. Diabetes is such a common thing that a person doesn’t even pay that close attention to the topic.” Carter said.

For more information about diabetes please visit: www.diabetes.org

Local musician Jermaine "J Young MDK" Carter, who also has Type 1 diabetes partners with the American Diabetes Association as an ambassador. (Photo Credit: Courtesy/Jermaine "J Young MDK" Carter)

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