Gilberto Santa Rosa, known for his salsa hits like “Conteo Regresivo” and “Que Alguien Me Diga,” among others, announced this week that he will be the new Latino spokesperson for the “Todo Diabetico Cuenta” campaign, an initiative to bring awareness to the Latino community.
Diagnosed eight years ago, the 50-year-old singer is not letting Type 2 diabetes get the best of him and if anything, is encouraging other Latinos to do what he did and educate themselves, reported NBC Latino.
“Find out about your condition, and what medication you need,” he said. “Information helps you. Too many Latinos have the bad habit of self-medicating themselves, saying, ‘fulano me dijo que toma eso’ but you have to go to the doctor because every human body is different.”
Santa Rosa is right. Every body is different and with that, there are different causes to developing Type 2 diabetes, but the results are still the same.
Diabetes has recently been known for it’s Type 2 effects on people of color, which fall in line with minimal production of insulin or the cells’ resistance to insulin. Type 1 diabetes, when the pancreas does not produce insulin, is rare among Latinos and is usually diagnosed in young adults and children.
The need for diabetes awareness is very apparent, especially now when 9.3 percent of the Latino population has been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Not only does Santa Rosa have Type 2 diabetes, but his mother passed from complications and his father also has Type 2 diabetes. Since he was diagnosed, he has changed his lifestyle and began taking medications that he said are working well.
It’s about listening to your body and its signs, said Santa Rosa.
The campaign, launched by the U.S. Department of Health, kicked off six years ago but was finally launched in the Latino community on Monday, March 4.