During the celebration of Windrush Day 2020 on June 22nd, a blessing fell on Good News Jamaica. We were in the presence of the dynamic and inspirational “Diabetes Ambassador”, Mr Tony Kelly.
Now, if you don’t know who this phenomenal Jamaican stalwart is, you’re in for a treat. Throughout the years, he has garnered the support of many. His unique way of engaging Jamaicans and others in the topic of diabetes is admirable.
Being intentional about our health is vital to prevent the development of medical conditions such as diabetes. Like Tony, we can do this by both taking action and raising awareness using culturally sensitive language.
Born in Britain, Mr Kelly returned to Jamaica as a child to live in Whitehall, St Thomas. With immense pride, He recalls how his mother and his aunt emigrated to the United Kingdom. They migrated to train to be nurses and work dedicatedly to shape the National Health Service after the call to rebuild Britain after World War II. We are proud of these astonishing Windrush Generation nurses and the legacy they have left for others to build on.
Even after managing his diabetes for 17 years, Tony advises that he is not medically trained. He developed a system based on his experiences. There is no substitute for seeking medical advice and guidance to ensure you are tested and diagnosed appropriately. We are awed by Tony’s transparency on a public health issue that impacts so many lives.
Tony is a real Jamaican! A proud Yaad-man that we had the pleasure of interviewing for our series of showcasing Jamaicans in the United Kingdom.
Watch this empowering video to hear all about Tony in his own words.
We hope that you are now inspired and challenged to take control of your health and change your narrative. Tony encourages us to make the needed changes that are necessary to stay fit and well for a lifetime. There’s no excuse, “even if you can’t swim, you can still participate in aqua aerobics”! We cannot argue with that. Tony leads by example, as the only male at his Zumba class. He is also a member of a walking club as well as other activities including gardening.
Yes, “wi love wi food”, Tony admitted. However, as he highlighted to us, we can reduce our portion sizes and increase our physical activity. Sometimes we don’t have to take drastic action. We need to start where we are with what we have. It is the small behavioural changes that, over time, will result in health benefits for us and the next generation.
Let’s change our narratives and inspire the next generation to stand on the shoulders of giants like Tony Kelly.
Tell us what you are going to do to improve your health? Leave a comment! Share the article with your friends and families! Also, subscribe to our YouTube channel for more engaging content.