Category Archives: Stories about individuals

Real-life stories of West Virginians fighting high blood pressure, obesity and chronic disease.

Thousands of W.Va. kids are headed for diabetes

Jenni, a rural obese teen with high blood pressure and cholesterol, gets a full medical screening at a university clinic, then goes back home to no services, no community physical acivity. As 18 percent of West Virginia kindergartners arrive at school obese, West Virginia children are sending up clear red flags of future diabetes and heart disease.

Continue reading


“I want to tell people, this is possible.”/ You can prevent, control diabetes

Dannie Cunningham, 61, cut his soaring sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol down to normal range and dropped 56 pounds by working longterm with a diabetes counselor.

Continue reading

What happened? When / how / why did W.Va. pack on the pounds? / A look back in history.

At the turn of the 20th century, West Virginians were described as a lean ‘stomachless’ people. Now West Virginia leads the nation in obesity and diabetes. What changed? And what can we do?

Continue reading

“Everyday heroes.” Mud River women fight fires, lose hundreds of pounds, battle diabetes

Faced with a choice between diabetes and shedding pounds, eight inspiring, determined low-income West Virginians manage to lose an average of 71 pounds apiece in seven months, though they live a half hour from any interstate, gym, track or grocery store. As one health expert said, “They’ve saved other people’s lives. Now they’re saving their own.”

Continue reading

Mud River side story. ‘We don’t read research; we just do it’ / The power of support

Research says the Mud River women – far from any grocery store, track or gym – weren’t likely to lose significant weight. They did anyhow. What can we learn from them? Several health experts have theories.

Continue reading

Body, spirit and medical home / ‘Jesus and Cabin Creek Clinic delivered me from food’

People keep asking Freida Smith how she shed so much weight, slipping from size 2X to size 12. She says Jesus and her medical home, Cabin Creek Clinic, did it. Physicians assistant John Rice coordinates her treatment at Cabin Creek.

freida at the clinic-19
Continue reading

Glenda and Jill vs. diabetes: ‘We can beat that old sugar’

Glenda Blake figured she’d get diabetes too, just like some other of her family members. Her blood sugar waltzes up to the brink. But she has found she can do something about it. She keeps waltzing it back.

Continue reading