The Michael Green Diabetes Foundation has been set up in memory of a wonderful husband and father who died in December 2012, aged 53, from a heart attack due to Type 2 Diabetes. We felt that we wanted to do something to honour his memory and, at the same time, make a difference to other people’s lives.
Michael was also loved amongst friends and colleagues – he was known for his charisma, humour and his willingness to help others. Many people wanted to get involved in The Michael Green Diabetes Foundation and over a short time, it has become a charity with a mission to raise awareness of Type 2 diabetes and its symptoms as well as to raise funds for The Michael Clements Diabetes Centre at Watford General Hospital.
We began fundraising in June 2013 and by November – after a variety of fund-raising events – we had raised £10,000 to build The Michael Green Dietetic Educational Kitchen at the centre. This kitchen is helping to educate diabetes patients and other community groups about the importance of healthy eating, using practical methods, from discussion through to food preparation and cooking. We hope that in time there will be more of these kitchens in other local areas, with access for schools to encourage healthy lifestyles from an early age. This will help to prevent problems in future for people’s health, as well as lessening the impact and drain that diabetes has become on our NHS.
We were introduced to Dr Ogilvie at The Michael Clements Research Centre at Watford General Hospital – the centre opened in October 2012. She told us about the complications that Type 2 Diabetes can bring, whereby people suffering from it can have neuropathy, which is one of the long-term complications of Diabetes. This can lead to the numbness of many feelings in the body, including the heart, resulting in what is known as a “silent heart attack”.
Michael loved life and laughter and had such a positive outlook on life that we feel that the best way to remember him is to make something positive from his memory. That is why we have founded this charity to try and raise more awareness of diabetes and to help people suffering with the illness to understand their condition and control it. Type 2 Diabetes, which Michael suffered with – can, with the right diet and exercise regime, be controlled and even in some cases, be completely eradicated. If we can raise this awareness, and help others by also raising funds through the foundation, then perhaps we can save a life and save others from suffering the pain and loss that we have experienced.