HAPPY DIABETES AWARENESS MONTH!
My name is Ruby Liu, and I am one of the co founders of FEM. I started the organization to educate people about healthy lifestyle choices to prevent early diabetes and heart disease. I personally dealt with the health consequences of being overweight as a child because my family and I often neglected our eating and exercise habits. Making enough money to survive was our priority, not what we ate. We didn’t even know what was healthy. Eventually, after seeing a doctor for our numerous health problems, my brother and I strived to lose weight and become healthy. This took a very, very long year and a half. When before I couldn’t even run up a single flight of stairs without breaking down, I can now hike up to 20 miles at a time. When we were older, my brother and I founded Food Equality Movement (FEM) so that other people didn’t have to go through what we did.
We started the organization by trying to donate healthy meals to underprivileged families and money to other nonprofits with similar causes. Although this was rewarding, we realized that we weren’t getting to the root of the problem. The “why” of it all.
Many underprivileged families actually had access to cheap, healthy produce thanks to some really cheap grocery stores and wonderful charities. However, they didn’t really know why they should eat healthy and what was considered healthy. FEM realized what most people needed was an education. We immediately made a website (this is the re-branded version), distributed food pyramids with meals other nonprofits gave out, made comics about healthy eating for children, created an Instagram page and more. Today, our website reaches about 5,000 viewers.
Occasionally, I’ll get some nice emails and comments about how we’ve helped others. It’s always nice to know we’ve been making an impact. Last week, one email in particular stood out. A young woman from Texas with small children reached out to FEM to tell us how helpful our website has been to her. Her entire family had been diagnosed with Diabetes (Type 2) and/or obesity. They suffered from excessive hunger, increased thirst, fatigue and more symptoms. The doctors offered medication, but she refused. She wanted to make major lifestyle changes rather than rely on a pill. She started googling ways to become healthier and stumbled upon our website. Ever since, she’s been using our recipes, exercise routines, and reading our jokes to her kids to make major lifestyle changes.
Her version of Mashed Cauliflower
She thanked us for not only being a “tremendous help, but also reminding [her] why it’s so important to take care of your body”. She went to her doctor’s appointment and her family’s stats improved significantly. I was reminded of why I started this nonprofit in the first place. To REALLY, ACTUALLY help people in the long run.
A couple of days ago, 100 people posted on Facebook for the Food Equality Movement Diabetes Day Tag, tagging around 500 people. Here are some of our favorite tags (Names blocked out for privacy reasons):
Some quick facts about Diabetes:
- It is the fastest spreading epidemic in the U.S.
- Diabetes is the leading cause in new blindness in ages 24 to 45
- By 2025, 1 in 7 Americans will have Diabetes
info found at: http://www.diabetes.org/
I wanted to take this moment to thank anyone who helped me start this organization, anyone who has donated, and of course my wonderful FEM Family and team. This would not be possible without you. I hope to continue making a difference in people’s lives. To everyone who wants to change their life to become healthier: you have to take the stairs before you can climb a mountain. It takes time. I know, that was disgustingly cliched and philosophical. But trust me: when you can finally climb that mountain, it is SO rewarding.
The featured picture is of me, sitting on top of a mountain.
~Written by Ruby Liu