89.1 WEMU

Type 2 Diabetes Affects Thousands In Michigan. Some Ann Arbor Residents Find A Way To Avoid It

Feb 12, 2018

Ben Modz (standing) is a Lifestyle coach for the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan. Here he talks to the Diabetes Prevention Program at a recent meeting on the U of M campus.
Credit Lisa Barry

Do you worry about type 2 diabetes?  Hundreds of thousands of people in Michigan have been diagnosed with the disease, but the Kidney Foundation of Michigan runs a diabetes prevention class intended to help people avoid dealing with the disease.

89.1 WEMU'S Lisa Barry shares what the class has meant to several Ann Arbor residents and what a difference it is making in their lives.


Nearly 800,000 adults in Michigan have type 2 diabetes.  Thousands of others are at risk for developing the disease.

Bob Megginson of Ann Arbor holding class book.
Credit Lisa Barry

Every week since last October, a group of about a dozen people have been getting together in Ann Arbor, trying to avoid being one of those statistics by being proactive about their health.

Modz speaks with a class member.
Credit Lisa Barry

Each week for the last 16 weeks, the class met and learned about how to get a handle on their pre-diabetes concerns under the leadership of Ben Modz, a lifestyle coach for the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan.

He leads the weekly Diabetes Prevention program run by the organization.

Bob Megginson of Ann Arbor comes from a long line of family members who deal with diabetes.  Although he has not been diagnosed himself with the disease, he has a major motivation for taking the class, losing weight and getting a handle on his blood sugar.

Class member John Cady (left) and Modz (right).
Credit Lisa Barry

He’s lost between 12 and 14 pounds from taking the class and says he learned useful tools to allow him to continue to follow his passion of mountain climbing, even into his 70’s.

John Cady of Ann Arbor got a health wake-up call from his doctor at the age of 52 when he was told he was pre-diabetic.

Since taking the diabetes prevention class, he has lost weight and his health numbers are back to normal.

Nearly a million adults in Michigan have type 2 diabetes, one of the highest rates in the country.  In 2014, 8% of adults in Washtenaw County received a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes compared to 10 and a half percent state wide.

Dr. Connie Standiford is a primary care physician at the University of Michigan Briarwood Medical Group.  She says the food that you eat and your weight are big contributing factors to getting type two diabetes.

Credit Lisa Barry

Joyce Williams is a communications specialist for the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan.  She says studies have shown the yearlong prevention program which works to modify behavior has the highest success rate for preventing type two diabetes, adding it is certified by the centers for disease control and prevention.

And that’s what Ben Modz is back for in the classroom, encouraging participants and offering support and ideas on how to keep their health on track.

The next class is scheduled to begin on February 26th. 

To register for the class starting February 26, please contact the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan.

Phone: 1-800-482-1455

Online: nkfm.org/dpp

Email: preventdiabetes@nkfm.org

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu