Randall Smalls found out he had diabetes later in his adulthood.
"I always had the symptoms like blurry vision, dehydration, and tiredness. You get the symptoms and don’t pay attention to it," Smalls said.
Approximately 1 in 6 African Americans in South Carolina has diabetes, according to the Department of Health and Enviroment Control.
"We don’t know right now what causes diabetes, but we know some factors that are risk factors. One of the risk factors is if you are Hispanic or part of a minority group. Other risk factors are obesity, lack of physical activities, hypertension disease, and if you have a family history of diabetes," says the MUSC Center for Health Disparities Research Director Dr. Leonard Egede.
Smalls was part of a study called TIDES-2 led by Dr. Egede. The study aimed to measure the effectiveness of telehealth for diabetes management in African Americans with Type 2 diabetes. For one year, research nurses worked with Smalls to help him manage his disease at home using a monitoring device. During weekly phone calls, educational sessions for diabetes were also provided.
At 55, Randall Smalls is feeling happy and healthy. But that didn't come easy. He says that a great deal of determination, persistence and home telehealth helped turn his life around.