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Ocean Pines Diabetes Support Group Lends a Shoulder

In 2005, Ellen Lurz relocated with her husband, Ray, to the Pines from Baltimore, a move that many area residents made at one time or another, but one that she was not entirely comfortable with. She had to leave behind the only family she had in Baltimore and start a new beginning. That same year, Ellen was diagnosed with diabetes.

“I grew more and more depressed. I had a new job, a new home, no friends or family nearby, and a new disease,” she said.

In April 2006, Ellen started working at Atlantic General Hospital, securing a job as a registration specialist later that year. She enrolled in the Diabetes Outpatient Education Program the hospital offers and, there, she met the program manager, Darby Schaub.

“The class became a turning point for me,” Ellen said. “I’m very outgoing by nature, and I enjoyed the interaction.”

Ellen shared with Darby that she needed to find something to fill her life. Darby gave her the perfect opportunity -- organizing the Ocean Pines Diabetes Support Group, which had experienced declining attendance in recent months.

“I took the ball and ran with it,” Ellen said. She got a list of past members and just started calling, eventually building the attendance from around 10 members up to 30 members. She, with her husband as backup, reserves the meeting space for the group, organizes fund raisers, or is just there when someone needs to talk.

She once spent two hours on the phone with a member who wanted to throw in the towel.

“After a little crying and talking, we ended up laughing. She needed someone to listen, to just be a shoulder,” Ellen said. “The support group is about building friendships, getting to know people, listening to them, sharing and caring.”

The Ocean Pines Diabetes Support Group meets the first Wednesday of every month. Call for details: 443-814-5450.