'Healthy Heroes' - Bridgeport program helps kids develop healthy habits
A Bridgeport nonprofit is focused on keeping kids healthy and preventing them from developing potentially deadly habits.
Monitor My Health promotes health equity and provides programs to help prevent type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The nonprofit also has an after-school program named Healthy Heroes designed to help kids overcome major health disparities.
Felice Gray-Kemp's son Evan, 13, attends the program. As a cancer survivor, she wants to make sure her son learns how to lead a healthy lifestyle early in life.
"Healthy Heroes was something we never knew we needed, and it kind of reinvigorated within Evan this passion about eating healthy," says Gray-Kemp.
Joyce Bellamy and Donald Moody say the program has helped their 13-year-old son Dominique Parker lose 20 pounds.
"Healthy Heroes is an asset and a much-needed program in the community,” said Bellamy.
"He's playing basketball by himself. He's going to the court every day so I'm thanking Healthy Heroes for that one,” said Moody.
Monitor My Health founder and president Dr. Dana Wade says the after-school program helps children make practical changes that lead to longer and healthier lives.
"It's one thing to teach them what healthy food is, but it's another thing to get them to taste what healthy food is. We've debunked the myth that healthy is boring,” he said.
According to the National Institutes of Health, individuals of color, especially Black Americans, suffer a greater prevalence and earlier onset of chronic illness and disability than other ethnic groups. For instance, Blacks are over twice as likely to develop diabetes or to die of sudden cardiac arrest compared to white Americans.
Monitor My Health is also asking the public for donations on their website.