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Ironman Competitor with Diabetes Inspires Individuals with Diabetes to Live Without Limits
Date:6/2/2009

"Iron Andy" Holder Visits Kaheka Pharmacy To Inspire Others to Manage Chronic Conditions

HONOLULU, June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of an inspirational nationwide tour, "Iron Andy" Holder, an Ironman competitor who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 36, participated in a Wellness Fair at a Don Quijote Pharmacy in Honolulu today.

Andy was joined by a 14-year-old boy with type 1 diabetes, who was inspired by Andy's personal story. The two met at a health event at a local pharmacy in October 2008 when Andy first visited Honolulu. The boy, Devin Rettke, of Honolulu, is also a triathlete.

After Andy's diagnosis in 2005, he was determined not to let the disease hold him back and then decided to become an Ironman competitor -- an extraordinary test of strength, will and endurance. The Ironman competition requires Andy to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run a full marathon of 26.2 miles.

"As a husband and father of two young boys, I was initially scared, angry and depressed by my diagnosis," said Andy. "But after researching the disease, I realized that this was another challenge to overcome. Rather than allow diabetes to control me, I decided to take control of my diabetes. I realized that no matter what challenges life presents, you can reach goals beyond your wildest dreams."

Since 2006, Andy has traveled the U.S. encouraging others in "Living Without Limits" - a national campaign to motivate those with chronic conditions to manage their health and strive for their dreams. His uplifting journey has inspired many people to better manage their health or to even compete in triathlons, just like Andy.

In Hawaii, nearly 8 percent of the adult population has been diagnosed with diabetes, up from 6 percent five years ago, and 5 percent a decade ago, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease also has a disproportionate impact on Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and Asians.

As an athlete with diabetes, Andy faces additional challenges. He must keep his blood sugar levels in check, which involves careful meal planning, wearing an insulin pump while training and testing his blood sugar a dozen times a day - sometimes while running or riding his bike. Despite these significant obstacles, Andy has persevered and has now completed four full Ironman competitions.

"I am living proof that people with diabetes can truly live without limits and strive for their highest aspirations," said Andy.

Not everyone with diabetes can become an Ironman competitor, but by following Andy's example of closely monitoring his condition and working with health professionals, people with diabetes or other chronic conditions can lead healthy, productive lives - and live without limits. For more information about Iron Andy and the "Managing Diabetes: Living Without Limits" campaign, visit http://livingwithoutlimits.diabetes-shoppe.com/ .

Note to Editors: Photos available. Please send e-mail to iris@kapnek.com


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SOURCE Good Neighbor Pharmacy
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