Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, with greater numbers diagnosed with each passing year. In the past the disease could be disabling or even deadly, but thanks to advances in modern medicine, diabetes is not necessarily a death sentence—with careful monitoring, regular medication and healthy lifestyle changes, individuals can control the effects and live a long, productive life.
Unfortunately, in the Navajo Nation, the rate of diabetes is up to three times higher among the community, and prevalence doubled among adults in just a ten year period. To complicate matters, geographic isolation and high poverty prevent access to some of the most basic care. In recent years they've made great strides through programs aimed at educating youth and reintroducing locally grown and gathered foods, but they still require the basic tools and experienced individuals to effectively monitor the disease.