For Fe Vorderlandwehr, things have come full circle.
Several years ago, Vorderlandwehr was a college intern at the Wichita chapter of the American Diabetes Association while trying to figure out her career path as she attended Wichita State University.
Now she’s director of the local chapter.
Vorderlandwehr started her new position at the beginning of December after spending 13 years at McConnell Air Force Base. While at McConnell, she served as marketing director and then director of the base’s community center, planning activities for the troops, reservists and their families.
The Wichita native is also active in the American Cancer Society, the Kansas Aviation Museum, Exploration Place and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Vorderlandwehr and her husband, James, have been married 11 years and have an 8-year-old son.
“My husband and son were very active in base activities and helping me plan events, so I told (the American Diabetes Association), ‘When you hire me, you hire them as well,’ ” she said.
She says diabetes has become more prevalent in the U.S., which has led to an increased need for awareness of the disease and its risk factors.
“They say in the next several years that one in three people will have diabetes. Statistically you either have it or know somebody that does,” Vorderlandwehr said.
There are higher risk factors in the elderly and some ethnic minority groups. I’m part Filipino, and it’s prevalent in the Asian and African-American communities. So one of my goals is to really reach out to those communities.
March 25 is Diabetes Alert Day, and that day we encourage people to take the risk test and you can see where you stand for type two diabetes. It’s a one-page questionnaire, and it will tell you if you’re at high risk, medium and low risk. We also have information on how to build your plate with protein and carbs and things like that. Just staying healthy and proactive. It’s available on our website ( http://www.diabetes.org/are-you-at-risk/diabetes-risk-test/).