SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - November is National Diabetes Month, a time to bring awareness to diabetes and its impact on the millions of Americans who have it.
A local man says his diagnosis has been life changing, but thanks to help from his family the journey has been easier.
"About a year ago I had my physical and the doctor told me I was pre diabetic and I thought well I need to take care of that," Frank Feltis said.
Feltis and his wife were traveling across the country in their motor home, making it tough to stick to a solid diet and fitness routine.
"So, I came back this year in June and had my physical and the doctor said well you're no longer pre diabetic. You're full blown diabetic," Feltis said.
Feltis and his wife put their traveling on hold to focus on his health, and he's already seeing results.
"I've lost 25 pounds now since the 12th of September," Feltis said.
In addition to a low carb diet and fitness activities with his family, Feltis says the Avera diabetes program has made a difference.
"Our diabetes self management program is designed to really help people learn how to live successfully with diabetes. Whenever someone gets that diabetes diagnosis they have a lot of feelings," Diabetes program manager Mary Oyos said.
Oyos says the goal of the program is to inform people that diabetes is a very controllable condition.
"It's something you can live with. You can be healthy. Many people even come back and tell us they're not glad they have diabetes but it's actually been the motivation to help them be healthier than they were before," Oyos said.
Experts say about one in every 10 people have diabetes and one in four aren't even aware they have it.
With the high amount of people dealing with the condition, an educational program is crucial.
"We've had good instruction on what diabetes is and what to do about it and the nutrition part of it," Feltis said.
Feltis is thankful for the support from his family and the information he's gained through the program.
"Like any other disease, like any other thing that you get involved in life you just got to take a hold of it and get as much information as you can," Feltis said.
To find out more and the diabetes program at Avera, click here.