Fade Out Diabetes: Barbershop event offers free testing and education

Local barbers are working to address critical gaps in care for people with diabetes.

The "Fade Out Diabetes" program looks to address those concerns.

For barbershop owner Tyrik Jackson it is a cause that hits close to home.

"I think it’s important for our community to go get tested for diabetes because family habits, eating habits. Little things that might have been passed on from generation to generation," Jackson said. "If we don’t know our levels we can’t be in front of it to eradicate it from our system. Break the chain in our family." 

Dr. Maria Esparza, the director of Fade Out Diabetes, says that modern medical advances can help decrease the use of insulin if your pancreas doesn't work as it should.

"We have exciting new medications we didn’t have before like pills and injections that don’t lower your blood sugar. Low blood sugar is something that our customers are super scared and can kill you in minutes," she said. 

Black and Hispanic adults are twice a likely to develop diabetes as white adults.

Jackson says it is crucial to stay proactive.

"It’s important enough for us to be ahead of the curve and get tested early that way we don’t have to worry about dealing with it," he said. 

That's why The Art of Barbering, a shop located in Grand Prairie, stepped up to hold the event.

It supports those who are weary of walking into a doctor's office in the first place.

"There’s a hesitancy and fear to go to the doctor sometimes in the community. There are a lot of inequalities and disparities that make it harder. The population has a lower percentage of being medically insured," said Dr. Esparza. 

The aim is to jump over the barriers, which includes the distrust between the public and the healthcare system.

Today's focus is specifically geared toward men to have a safe space to discuss medicine with other men they trust.