14 Nov Luther Nesbitt, III

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Approximately 29 million people in the United States have diabetes. Luther Nesbitt, III, is determined not to be counted in that number.

Seven years ago, Luther was in a hospital undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. The many tests performed for his cancer treatment also yielded information regarding his elevated blood sugar. He was referred to a family doctor to learn more about diabetes.

“I talked to my doctor and learned that my A1C was above normal at 6.5 and I needed to get that down,” said Luther. The normal range for an A1C reading is 5.7 or below, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Luther’s A1C numbers were ranging between 6.5 and 5.8. Luther was given the news that he was in a “pre-diabetes” state, but if not properly managed, it could become diabetes.

Knowing that diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease, Luther was also introduced to nephrologist Dr. McGee. Dr. McGee wanted to ensure that Luther’s kidney function was protected, so he referred Luther to REACH Kidney Care of Upstate South Carolina.

“I think REACH Kidney Care is a real good program,” said Luther. “If people take it seriously, it will help keep them off of dialysis.”

The REACH team explained to Luther that diabetes can be managed through diet and exercise. Luther already saw the value in diet and exercise and took every word to heart.

“I see some of my friends who have diabetes. They are still eating donuts and I tell them that it is not good for them. I ask them to go work out, and they’d rather sit and watch television. One friend with diabetes didn’t take care of himself. He’s now an amputee and he’s on dialysis,” said Luther. “I see this and it motivates me to eat right, work out and stay off dialysis.”

At 66 years old, Luther has enrolled at the Spartanburg Community College where he is studying to be an EMT. His retirement from the Michelin Tire Company after 32 years has only given him time to pursue more interesting activities. He’s already mastered the bass guitar and now he’s working on the lead guitar. This husband, father and grandfather won’t be found sitting around. He is determined to avoid diabetes and enjoy a full, productive life.