DSA News Summer 2020

DSA Port Elizabeth news

This year, with a multitude of challenges, is nearing the end. Most of us are survivors of the COVID-19 pandemic. We do send our sincere condolences to the families and friends of those with diabetes who sadly did not survive being infected with COVID-19. Please still practise social distancing, mask wearing and hand sanitising.

 DSA PE Annual General Meeting

Our normal monthly Diabetes Wellness Meeting are still not on the go. We are planning to meet again in February 2021.

We were challenged to arrange a virtual DSA, PE Annual General Meeting. This was held on 21 September 2020 via a Google meeting, combined with email responses from those unable to attend the Google Meeting.

This worked out well and we managed to receive the reports that had been circulated to all via email, and complete all the other official business.

The following Management Board Members were elected; Martin Prinsloo (Chairperson), Darren Badenhuizen (Secretary), Surendra Daya (Treasurer), Elizabeth Prinsloo (Branch Manager), Pamela Molefe (Nursing Advisor), Clive Burke (Springdale Wellness Group), Paula Thom (Young Guns) and Surendra Daya (Malabar Diabetes Wellness Group).

A screen shot of the Virtual AGM. Sadly, we forgot to take photos at the beginning so a couple of those present had already signed off. Those on the photo from left to right: Top row: Paula Thom and Coleen O’Brien. Bottom row: Elizabeth and Martin Prinsloo.

Virtual street collection

We could not hold our main fundraiser, our annual street collection, this year because of lockdown. So, we are currently hosting a virtual street collection and appealing to all to donate to help the Port Elizabeth branch. Contact us at 082 579 9059 for bank details.

Jessica, the dog who assists our regular volunteers to collect, posing with a huge collection tin in the cart to help promote the virtual tin collection.

DSA Pietermaritzburg news

DSA pays tribute to Ruby Skinner (1932 – 2020)

Ruby Skinner, supported by her husband Viv, served the local diabetes community in Pietermaritzburg wholeheartedly for two decades.

Ruby moved to Pietermaritzburg, in 1986, where she and Viv became involved in the Diabetes South Africa Pietermaritzburg Branch. The couple became widely known and loved in the area. Their efforts grew the Pietermaritzburg branch into a place where anyone with diabetes could come for advice and help.

Type 1 diabetes

Ruby developed Type 1 diabetes at the age of 29. Her daughter, Linda explains, “Not much was known about diabetes in the early 1960s and treatment was a hit-and-miss affair. Despite the medical risks at the time, she went on to have three healthy children and managed her diabetes without fuss or fanfare, giving herself insulin injections every day for the rest of her life.”

DSA Pietermaritzburg

Ruby became passionately committed to supporting others with diabetes. Working with their Pietermaritzburg branch committee, Ruby and Viv organised monthly meetings with expert speakers and carried out blood glucose screenings. To generate income for branch activities and to raise awareness, they organised street collections and other fundraisers.

Together with Felicity and the late Robin Giles, they organised regular camps for children with Type 1 diabetes, with the aim of educating and supporting children and parents about diabetes management, in a way that was fun and child-friendly.

Fellow diabetic and camp dietitian, Julie Peacock remembers, “Ruby was always present with a gentle, reassuring word and often a little chuckle, ever encouraging and loving.”

Ruby ran the DSA office at Hayfields Mall and counselled people from all walks of life about the importance of careful blood glucose management and making healthy lifestyle choices. Here she helped many people living with diabetes. Her nursing background and own extensive research meant she gave sound advice and monitored progress with genuine interest, kindness, and concern.

Her daughter, Norma reflects that “Ruby’s vision was to empower people with diabetes to live full, productive and meaningful lives by carefully managing their condition. She practised what she preached, her 88-rich years bearing testimony to her vision.”

Ruby will be remembered with great fondness, and for being a wonderful ambassador for Diabetes S. and its work in communities throughout South Africa.

(Acknowledgement: Kathy Johnson; “Obituary: Ruby Skinner (formerly Sharratt, nee Rowles) 26/07/1932 – 04/09/2020”; Published in The Witness 22/9/2020).

DSA Pretoria news

On 21 November 2020, we shook off the lethargy which had overtaken us during the long lockdown and joined forces with The Lions Club of Alberton for a Wellness Day.

We met at the Bracken City Mall and had a wonderful morning doing our community service. Encouraging passers-by to come for free diabetes tests.

Sister Liz de Lange did the diabetes testing on our behalf, while Brian and Liz Midlane assisted her.

The Lions were collecting food for animals who are in distress and handing out diabetes literature.

Between the two groups we both managed to get a lot of exposure for Diabetes SA Pretoria and the Lions Alberton.

A very beneficial joining of forces!