Diabetes testing at Manacor Hospital. | G. Mas

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It started for Howard Mullen nine years ago. Howard, now 69, was driving from Palma to his home in Puerto Pollensa when he realized how tired he was. He was also extraordinarily thirsty all the time. A cut on his finger was taking a long time to heal. Because he was also generally feeling unwell, he visited his doctor.

His doctor said one word - "diabetes".

And with a simple and painless prick of Howard’s finger, the diagnosis was confirmed. In fact, Howard’s blood sugar levels were so high, his doctor immediately sent him to a specialist at hospital. It was that serious.

Diabetes is a dangerous killer. But a silent one. Many people who have it - or are at risk of getting it - are unaware of their conditions. They might, like Howard, feel a little tired or more thirsty than usual.

But unless they’re tested and put on a treatment plan, their very lives are at risk. Diabetes is a global epidemic. Today, 371 million people have been identified as having the condition.

The International Diabetes Federation estimates that by 2030 that number will soar to 552 million. And this doesn’t count the hundreds of thousands - perhaps millions - of people who have the disease but don’t know it. What can you do? Get tested.

It’s a simple and painless prick of your finger. And you can get tested for free on Friday, 14 October, from 10.00 to 13.00 at Tercera Edad de Colonya in Plaza Monares in Pollensa. No need to register or sign up. And it’s completely confidential.

Why get tested? Because with the proper care, you can live a long, healthy, and happy life with diabetes.

Take Howard. By working hand in hand with his doctor, he got on a treatment plan that included insulin injections, pills, healthy eating, and exercise, which brought his blood sugar levels down to normal.

"If you take care of your diabetes, you can have a fabulous life," says Howard, who is an avid photographer and motorcyclist, and hasn’t slowed down one bit in his enjoyment of his life since his diagnosis. "Get tested. You’ll be glad you did."

This free diabetes testing is being sponsored by the North Majorca branch of the Calvia Lions.

Looking for ways to give back to our vibrant community here in the north of Majorca? We are thrilled to announce that Lions International - the world’s largest service organization - is opening a new chapter in Pollensa.

We are actively seeking creative and energetic people to join us in helping those among us who need it most. In giving to others, you’ll discover the true meaning of community. And you’ll make lifelong friends while enriching your daily life.

Contact Susan Mackay for more information: susanpollensa@gmail.com 636 914 425.