Via Christi Hospital Diabetes Education Program

By Felicia Lawrence

Published 07/02 2014 09:16PM

Updated 07/02 2014 10:13PM

PITTSBURG, KS.--- Navy veteran, Dennis Woodward, says he has a lot to live for. 

"There's Avery, Emma, and the one on the swing. That's the littlest one, that's Brody. He's two and a half years old," said Dennis Woodward, Navy veteran. 

Which is why he can't let something like diabetes stop him now. 

"Mine's just simple, but I'm trying to keep it from getting progressively worse and that way there, I can enjoy it. I can enjoy my grandkids more," said Woodward. 

Woodward was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes eight years ago. After enrolling in the Diabetes Education Program at Via Christi Hospital, he says his life has changed for the better. 

"I just feel more comfortable about it. I'm more confident in my medication. I'm more confident in the food I eat and stuff. I know what I'm doing now," he said. 

The program is teaching Woodward how to self-manage the chronic disease.

"It's something that they have to live with everyday. And so we want them to have more confidence in what they're doing. And for them to manage their diabetes and not for it to be managing them and infringing on their lifestyle," said Colleen Farrington, Patient Education Specialist.

The class covers nutrition, how to properly take medication, and recognizing what their bodies are telling them. Ultimately, the instructors hope to empower their students with knowledge.

"It's something they can overcome, they just need the tools to be able to do it. And that's what we try to provide them, is the tools they need to cope, to manage, and to have the best possible outcome that they could have with diabetes," said Jill Shriver, Registered Dietitian.

Woodward says the class has given him the freedom to continue enjoying his life. After all, he does have to keep up with six grandchildren and the family dog, Dottie.

"I'm just retired now and enjoying myself and having a good time," said Woodward. 

Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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