I’m no doctor, but as a DJ on a show that reaches a mainly African-American audience of more than 8 million nationwide, I can’t ignore the health crisis in this country – and specifically in the black community. When we kicked off “Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day” 10 years ago, we were partnered with the Department of Health and Human Services. Together, we recognized there was a problem and spearheaded a way to at least put a dent in the huge number of health issues that plagued African-Americans. Sometimes it isn’t good to be number-one – namely, when it comes to diseases like diabetes, hypertension, HIV/AIDS and prostate cancer.

“Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day” was more than a call to action; it was a 911 emergency, requiring immediate attention. And not only did our audience respond, but so did our radio affiliates, sponsors and the medical community all over the country.

After a while, we realized that a day didn’t do such an important event justice, so we expanded it to an entire season. This year, it’s April 27th until September 30th. One of the ways we’re celebrating the 10th anniversary is by taking a look at the impact the campaign has had on so many lives. In fact, I’m certain that someone reading this blog right now is still here because of early detection of a disease or condition discovered during a “Doctor Day” visit.

Please comment if you have a praise report. It’s your testimonies each year that inspire us to continue. From our interviews with the First Lady regarding her health initiative to “Get Well Wednesdays,” we are committed to keeping good health information in your face, on the radio and on BlackAmericaWeb.com.

None of us have to look far to find a person who has been neglecting their health; some of us need to just look in the mirror. There are all kinds of reasons for not visiting the doctor – fear, finances and/or just being unaware of what’s going with our bodies are all legitimate hindrances. But that’s what friends, relatives, neighbors and villages are for.

Being healthy is empowering. We can do more, reach more and teach more when we are feeling good. But the truth is feeling good isn’t always enough. The only way to determine how well we’re really doing is to get checked out by a doctor on a regular basis and to make sure our loved ones are doing the same.

We don’t have to accept the idea that because certain ailments run in the family, we’ll let them defeat us too. Let’s use the information we have in our favor and find out how diet, exercise and stopping bad habits like smoking and excessive drinking can help us flip the script. We owe that to ourselves – and to the people who love us.

Happy Take a Loved One to the Doctor Season, y’all. How YOU doin’?

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