New York, NY – Chuck D and Flavor Flav of Public Enemy, Coolio, Kid Frost and the Dogg Pound’s Kurupt are just a few of the hip hop pioneer veterans who responded when bass player/ music producer Clint “Payback” Sands reached out to his friends, inviting them to sound the alarm and participate in the “Check Your Risk” (CYR) awareness campaign for National Diabetes Awareness and Prevention Month in November. (Photo: Clint “Payback” Sands and Flavor Fav)
New York, NY – Chuck D and Flavor Flav of Public Enemy, Coolio, Kid Frost and the Dogg Pound’s Kurupt are just a few of the hip hop pioneer veterans who responded when bass player/ music producer Clint “Payback” Sands reached out to his friends, inviting them to sound the alarm and participate in the “Check Your Risk” (CYR) awareness campaign for National Diabetes Awareness and Prevention Month in November. The campaign, an initiative of Marci Kenon, founder of the New York-based Preventive Lifestyle Assistance Network (PLAN), alongside Alicia Hollins, founder of The Eight, a Riverside, CA based community service organization, was originally launched in November 2020, in an effort to break the chains that type 2 diabetes has on members of underserved communities. CYR encourages prevention with a quick online survey. The free “Check Your Risk” assessment can be taken at https://www.checkyourrisk.org/survey.
Actor Keith Robinson (“Dreamgirls”), rappers Ms. Toi, Spice 1, and Dana Dane are also a sampling of the many artists that joined the campaign effort and sent their video appeals. Participants DJ/producer Battlecat and lyricist Kokane shared stories of their struggles and triumphs in combating this lifestyle disease plaguing Blacks and Latinos throughout the country. New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams gave support to the 2020 inaugural launch by providing a webinar hosted by The Eight and PLAN, the organizations run by Hollins and Kenon, respectively.
“Thirty-four million people in the United States have diabetes,” laments Clint “Payback” Sands, who has played bass on numerous rap albums for artists including Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg, noting recent stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) site. In his promotional video for the new CYR campaign, he further reveals, “One in five don’t even know if they have it. I have type 2 diabetes. I was lucky. I only lost some toes. Hip-hop legend Biz Markie recently lost his life to complications related to type 2 diabetes. Knowing your risk can save your life.”
The CYR video promotion seeks to encourage respondents to anonymously answer online eight questions devised by the CDC. They are then recommended to go for an annual exam that includes blood work and to take the results with them. They can also choose to be directed to online prevention programs and health challenges to assist them with proper nutrition, a variety of exercise programs, and the daily support and accountability they need to thrive.
“While working with the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP), a couple of things became clear immediately,” says Marci Kenon, a Harlem-based certified lifestyle coach and fitness trainer who has personally stayed a step ahead of a 2012 prediabetes diagnosis. “People do not know they have prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Both are preventable and reversible through positive lifestyle changes in diet and exercise. I have been amazed by the health transformations of clients who have completed PLAN’s DPP classes. But too few people know about these prevention programs and have access to them. We are trying to change that.”
The Eight’s Alicia Hollins, who recently shed over 100 pounds and has spent years serving the needs of marginalized families in California’s Riverside County adds, “What people don’t know about their personal risk can hurt them. We know the power of influencers to aid in our mission to eradicate diabetes. With the help of a growing number of celebrities and corporate leaders, we are looking to reach far more people in underserved communities this year. Perhaps, we’ll even reach our one million goal!”
Take the Check Your Risk survey at https://www.checkyourrisk.org/.
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