Support group available at Cokato Marketplace for area diabetics
By Kristen Miller
COKATO,MN - Julie Starke, certified diabetes educator and registered dietician at the Marketplace in Cokato, knows that diabetes is a disease one can’t take a vacation from.
“It’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” she said.
That is why she created a diabetes support group where people with either Type I or Type II diabetes can share their concerns, ask questions, and learn more about managing their disease.
The group, which meets the third Wednesday of the month from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Marketplace deli seating area, has been in existence for about six years.
Starke is the daughter of Marv Marohn, owner of the Marketplace in Annandale and Cokato.
For 19 years, Starke was a clinical dietician at the VA Hospital in St. Cloud.
Though she doesn’t share in the disease, she understands it and it has been a special interest of her’s, Starke said.
Typically at the monthly support group, there are approximately two to four members who come to the group with questions or concerns.
They have the opportunity to discuss them with Starke and the other members.
“People get tired of [the disease], they need support to keep doing the right thing to manage their disease,” Starke said.
Bernie Pokornowski of Cokato and Theresa Cafferty of Howard Lake both have Type II Diabetes.
They come to the support group because they learn a lot, it’s friendly company, and they get to eat.
Starke usually finds a diabetes-friendly recipe, makes it, and brings it to share with the group.
Last Wednesday, Starke found a custard brûlée from Diabetic Cooking, March/April issue to share with the group.
Also during group time, Starke shared 10 myths about diabetes such as “people with diabetes should avoid carbohydrates, sugars, and sweets.”
Oftentimes, Starke will give suggestions for sugar substitutes in recipes, such as using Splenda.
Both Pokornowski and Cafferty appreciate the diabetes support group offered at the Marketplace.
“This is so nice,” Pokornowski said.
There is no registration fee just show up at the Marketplace deli the third Wednesday of the month at 3 p.m.
For those who can’t make this time in Cokato, Starke’s support group also meets at the Buffalo Cub Foods the third Wednesday of the month from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the pharmacy waiting area.