- Published: Wednesday, 29 October 2014 6:26PM
- Written by Maria Macias
"I lost my grandmother to diabetes when I was 14 years old. I miss and love her very much. I decided to start learning about diabetes because it was unfair to lose someone I loved to a disease that is so preventable. When I turned 15, I decided that I would only make a true impact in the lives of patients with diabetes if I became a physician. Therefore, diabetes is the reason why I will become a primary care physician in the future.
I don’t think anyone else should have to lose someone they love to a disease that can be prevented with some health education and healthy habits such as nutritious eating and some physical activity (in the case of type 2 diabetes).
Immediately after graduating from the University of California Riverside (UCR), I became part of the UCR School of Medicine’s new Diabetes Health Coaching program and served my community by providing one-on-one presentations on diabetes, medication compliance as well as healthy eating and active living. This experience was absolutely rewarding. I became very close with some of my patients and they shared aspects of their life with diabetes that humbled and filled me with gratitude to be able to be part of their life.
It was because of the Diabetes Health Coaching program that I obtained the honor to become the diabetes officer at the Riverside Free Clinic. I cannot begin to share all of the humbling moments I have lived by being part of this clinic. I have experienced so many times that have left me absolutely speechless and remind me of why I want to become a physician.
The Riverside Free Clinic is a wonderful place full of dedicated and talented individuals that strive to deliver the best quality of care to all of its patients. The diabetes committee is dedicated to improving the health of our patients with diabetes by providing support via supplies and health education. Once a patient is diagnosed with diabetes, he or she is provided with all of the supplies necessary to keep their diabetes under control, as well as health education classes to lead a healthier life. Moreover, the clinic’s pharmacy provides the patient with the necessary medications and all of our services are absolutely free.
I see my grandmother in so many of the patients and I love to think that although no one was able to save her, that I am saving someone’s grandmother, mother, father, brother or sister just by volunteering 5 hours of my time every 2 weeks. I know that wherever she is, my grandmother is proud of me."
- Maria C. Macias