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Oklahomans take to social media to dispel diabetes myths

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Nate Bright (left) and Chris Pickering (right) comprise The Betes Bros.
Fertile Ground Compost Service

OKLAHOMA CITY- It is no secret that Oklahoma ranks among the top when it comes to people who are dealing with diabetes. In fact, Oklahoma’s statistics continue to trend above the national average; however, many people still don’t know much about the disease. The average person really doesn’t know the difference between Type One and Type Two diabetes. Oklahoma City based The Betes Bros Foundation is trying to change that by being social.

Chris Pickering is a co-founder of The Betes Bros. You can find him on any given day traveling the state of Oklahoma to help foster a better understanding of diabetes and the lifestyle needed to maintain it. The Betes Bros are all over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Soon, the organization will be taking its diabetes awareness campaign to Snapchat.

“We are a foundation set up to spread awareness throughout the community starting in Oklahoma City and expanding from there. Our goal is to bring the diabetic community together and bring the public into it so they have a better understanding of what diabetes is. Hopefully, it will eliminate the bad jokes and some of the things that go along with it, misunderstanding just what diabetes is,” said Pickering.

Pickering believes popular media feeds misconceptions about diabetes. It is the reason why he created The Betes Bros to tackle the misinformation through social media and face-to-face engagement.

“It is a misconception that it is about what you eat, or being overweight, or not being active, especially dealing with Type 1 like everybody in our organization deals with. There’s a possibility there is a genetic disposition for it, but it is Russian Roulette. You don’t know who it is going to hit or when it’s going to hit.”

One of the biggest misconceptions: there is only one type of diabetes. 

“The general population does not realize that there is even a Type 1 or Type 2. With the new commercials that are out they specify if they are for Type 1 or Type 2, but throughout the 90s, early 2000s it was just diabetes. With Type 1 like I have, my body produces no insulin at all. My pancreas they say has shut down on insulin production. With Type 2, the body still produces it, but has become resistant to the insulin the body is producing,” Pickering said.

He adds, the social media accounts are getting the word out to not just the diabetic community, but those who don’t suffer from the disease.

It has been a great resource to get out there and connect.

“We have just as many, I don’t know how to put this, normal people who aren’t living with diabetes that follow us on Twitter as we do the diabetic community. We are seeing that trend start to go over to Instagram.”

The Betes Bros has even attracted a “female” version to help raise awareness, The Betes Babes.

“That came about with a couple of girls reaching out to us saying we love what you guys are doing, but you’re guys. We’re girls. Let us help out. We expanded the Betes Bros Foundation to where we have two separate entities now underneath that umbrella. That’s the Betes Bros and the Betes Babes. As time progresses we are going to add a few other entities under that umbrella.”

Pickering and his crew are working on the Foundation’s first fundraiser which will be held on October 21.

“We are having a golf tournament and our Betes Bros Challenge. What we are doing is raising funds to do more things in the community. One of the big things that we want to do is have open, free events for the diabetic community and the general public to come out, interact. People who are newly diagnosed and need to know more about diabetes can interact with people who are veterans with the illness. The public can come out if they have questions or if they have concerns, they have the opportunity to ask someone who lives with diabetes what it is, what they do, or what they should look for,” said Pickering.

Until then, you can catch Pickering on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram sharing information and answering questions from people with or without diabetes. To find out more about The Betes Bros Foundation, follow them at on Facebook, or find them on Twitter and Instagram

 

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Jason Doyle Oden

Jason Doyle Oden is a proud Oklahoman. He's an experienced broadcaster and award-winning...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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