My story…thank you Kevin Lane!
I never pass up an opportunity to spread the HSF’s message. So when I got an invitation to attend an opening of a new dental clinic here in South Florida, I immediately said yes. It was here that I met Kevin Lane. Never did I imagine that he would write the following article and offer to do another with specific gala details right before the big event on October 18th.
Yes, thank you so much Kevin Lane!
We met Roberta Ruggiero at the opening of a dental office… Really!
In our brief conversation, we knew this was a remarkable woman who was out to make a difference in the world. We thought we would share some highlights of her life and her life’s work.
Thirty-four years ago, Roberta dreamed about starting a support group for people with hypoglycemia. “… but I was plagued by fear, doubt and insecurity,” she remembers. “I questioned my ability; after all I am not a doctor, a nurse or even a college graduate. How could I possibly start an advocacy group for a disease that many medical doctors don’t acknowledge or understand?”
But clearly, Roberta understood it. She lived through the devastating effects of hypoglycemia. As a young mother, she had no idea of sugar’s consequences when living on sugary cakes, hot fudge sundaes and hot apple pie.
“I would swing from not eating meals, to those that consisted of pasta and bread. No wonder I had chronic fatigue; suffered with insomnia; severe depression and headaches that felt like my head was going to explode,” she added. “This lasted 10 years during which time I faced dozens of doctors, countless tests, thousands of pills and even the administration of electric shock therapy. But I was still sick. Finally, I found a physician who explained I had a severe case of functional hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and all I needed was a DIET!” Amazing, after all she had gone thru, she discovered quite by luck and accident, that a simple glucose tolerance test and a proper diagnosis, finally lead her on the road to recovery.
What happened to her almost 40 years ago is still happening to untold tens of thousands of people today! She receives almost 500 emails a month from all over the world. Most requests are for information, support, hope and encouragement on how to deal with hypoglycemia.
“My message is simple: YOUR SYMPTOMS MAY NOT BE IN YOUR HEAD. If you suffer from fatigue, insomnia, mental confusion, nervousness, mood swings, faintness, headaches, depression, phobias, blurred vision, inner trembling, outbursts of temper, sudden hunger, heart palpitations, cravings for sweets, allergies and crying spells (just to name a few),you may have functional hypoglycemia and it is most likely a result of poor diet, stress and lifestyle. Coupled with my own feelings, everyone I have encountered seemed to respond with the same universal phrase: “if only I had known…””
Over the years, Roberta has written a book, The Do’s and Don’ts of Hypoglycemia: An everyday Guide to Low Blood Sugar, created an active website, which she is currently updating, – www.hypoglyemia.org – started a support group The Hypoglycemia Support Foundation, Inc. and speaks around the country and around the world. October will mark the organization’s 34th anniversary!
“For decades, I have humbly asked: How can all this be possible? How did I come this far? But now, I don’t ask or question my work anymore, I just say quietly to myself: “How incredible God’s plan!””
This column says “Amen to that!” We salute Roberta Ruggiero… a remarkable person who is helping change the world… one person at a time!
If you’d like to support Roberta’s Foundation or attend the 34th Annual Hypoglycemia Takes Center Stage “Glitz & Glam” Gala on Saturday, October 18th, please call (954) 742-7104 or visit www.hypoglycemia.org for details.