Yesterday, comedian Patrice O’Neal passed away due to complications from a recent stroke. It was no secret that he had been dealing with diabetes for years. As an African-American, I know the challenges many of us face in regards to our susceptibility to contracting this disease. Patrice O’Neal often incorporated his battle with diabetes into his comedy routines.
He was 6’4″ and was over 300 pounds. I am 6″ and, at my heaviest, weighed 320 pounds. Thinking back on that weight, and thinking forward to the weight that I need to lose, I know that is is no laughing matter. Patrice O’Neal was only 2 months older than myself. Thankfully, I don’t have diabetes or high blood pressure but, without better eating and more physical activity, my risk factors would be even greater.
May Patrice O’Neal rest in peace but, for those of us still here, let his passing remind us that, while tomorrow is not promised, we still should take care of ourselves in hopes of having longer and more fruitful lives.