Students take fight against diabetes online

December 17, 2010 2:42:50 PM PST
Some Temple University students are raising awareness about diabetes, a disease that affects nearly 24-million Americans.

In the past, school projects would stay in school, but thanks to sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, students can now take their projects worldwide.

When Emily Hooven, Tom Simon and Matthew Law-Phipps signed up for Scott Shall's class at Temple University, they weren't sure what to expect.

But they soon found themselves launching an awareness campaign about diabetes online.

The assignment was to create an act of "Guerilla Altruism," as the class is named. Emily was diagnosed with type one or juvenile diabetes when she was 10.

That, combined with seeing as more people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes everyday the group wanted to put a face on the disease.

"No matter how much you hear about it, I think until you put a face on something that it sinks in, that it's real and can be critical for a lot of people, life-threatening," said Law-Phipps.

They took to the streets and interviewed people about diabetes, asking people what they know and how it affects them. They also interviewed experts and created a YouTube channel called "Diabetes Diaries."

It has informational videos, people can post comments and offer tips to prevent diabetes or its complications.

"I hope people will realize it is a real threat with our Western diet. Avoid fast food and exercise and realize they do have to do something to avoid it," said Simon.

The site has received hundreds of hits so far. The students requirement for their class is now over but they say their altruistic act will continue.

"We are going to find more people to interview and find more ways to get more people to go online," said Hooven.

Visit this link to check out "Diabetes Diaries."


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