I grew up listening to Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons, one of the founding members of the legendary rap group Run-D.M.C., as a kid. “It’s Tricky” is one of my favorite songs and is something that always puts me in a good mood. I must say that Rev Run’s social media handles are also a source of inspiration for me, I look to his encouraging words to guide me in my business and through my role as a caregiver for my grandmother who suffers from late stage Alzheimer’s disease. The ever inspiring and motivating Rev Run Simmons and his daughter Vanessa are now using their voices to encourage people to know their risk for type 2 diabetes with the Ask.Screen.Know campaign. As someone whose mother, father, and brother all have type 2 diabetes, this is a topic that is very important to me.
Rev Run and Vanessa Simmons were kind enough to join me for an interview yesterday to discuss how they both got involved with the Ask.Screen.Know campaign, Rev Run discussed his risk factors for type 2 diabetes, he shared tips for lowering your risk and he even dished on the new show he and Tyrese are developing for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network.
Candace Rose: Rev Run how did you first get involved with the Ask.Screen.Know campaign and how has it impacted your family?
Rev Run: “Well, actually my manager – we were having a conversation one day and he just mentioned that his father had diabetes. I was like wow my father had diabetes also, so we was kickin’ it and I always give out words of wisdom and I talk to people on Twitter and in churches about all types of subjects and I was thinking maybe it’s time for me to start talking about health. We connected with Novo Nordisk to put together a campaign called Ask.Screen.Know. We became a team together. I’ve been talking about knowing your risk for the last three years and it’s made a great impact on my family. I’ve taken off some pounds, I’ve changed my lifestyle to make sure that I don’t end up with diabetes. It’s been very rewarding.”
Candace Rose: Vanessa what motivated you to learn about your risk and to get screened?
Vanessa Simmons: “Well, the work that my dad is doing with Ask.Screen.Know really raised my awareness of the fact that I am at risk and that type 2 diabetes does have a history in my family, so I wanted to make it a priority to get screened and to know my risk. Through doing that I wanted to encourage other people out there that are like me, other young women to get screened and to know their risk.”
Candace Rose: Rev Run what are some of the risk factors that you face?
Rev Run: “Being African American, being over 45 years old, also just knowing that I had to take off some pounds. I’ve been exercising more, I’ve been walking around the neighborhood, lifting weights and different things just to keep myself healthy, and those are some of the risk factors – just keeping yourself healthy.”
Candace Rose: Like both of you, I’m at a higher risk for diabetes. Everyone in my immediate family has it except for me. What can I do to lower my risk?
Rev Run: “I would say make sure that you are eating right, make sure you are exercising, continuously get screened. Every time you get a check up make sure you get screened and make sure you go to AskScreenKnow.com also.”
Candace Rose: Rev Run, like so many people around the world, you inspire me on the daily with your encouraging words on social media. I hear you’re going to be inspiring us even more with your new show “Man School”. Can you tell us about it?
Rev Run: “Tyrese and I are putting together a show for Oprah Winfrey and it’s going to be on Own TV. It’s going to be very exciting. That’s really not the title of the show yet, but we’re about to get started developing everything right now. We have a signed contract with Oprah Winfrey, we’re very excited about talking with people about relationships.”
Candace Rose: Where can listeners go to find more information about the Diabetes Risk Factors Assessment?
Rev Run: “AskScreenKnow.com is the best place to go.”