Accountant brings message of hope to diabetics

Volunteers/Where good neighbors get together

July 02, 1991|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,Evening Sun Staff

WHEN MARK Eisenberg was a teen-ager, his need to help those with diabetes was born.

In the 1960s, he visited a camp for diabetic children, now Camp Glyndon, ''and I felt so touched by the devastation that the disease can have on them," he says. In 1981, he volunteered to the Maryland Affiliate of the American Diabetes Association, where he has served as treasurer and chairman of the budget and finance committee. In April, at the affiliate's 31st annual meeting, Eisenberg, 42, was elected its chairman of the board.

Approximately 14 million Americans have diabetes, and more than 200,000 of them are in Maryland. About 7 million have diabetes and are unaware of it, Eisenberg says.

There is no cure for this disease in which the body does not produce enough insulin. There are two types of diabetes: With one, the patient is dependent upon insulin to control it. With the other, the patient is not dependent on insulin and controls the disease with diet, exercise and oral medications.

Eisenberg's assessment of diabetes is filled with hope. ''It is a very invisible chronic illness that can be managed with adequate knowledge and education provided to the patient, and there is no reason why it should prevent anyone having it from pursuing anything they wish for in their lives,'' he says.

A certified public accountant since 1972, Eisenberg is a graduate of Widener University in Chester, Pa. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the American and the Maryland associations of CPAs and the Maryland Society of Accountants. He practices with Saperstein, Gardyn and Mogol in Owings Mills.

He and his wife, Sandi, and their 19-year-old daughter, Sherri, live in Baltimore County. The family's main hobby is tennis ''at which I'm not very good,'' Eisenberg jokes.

As a person vitally interested in others, Eisenberg is also one of the founders of Granite House Inc., a non-profit agency that helps support the independence of former state mental health patients.

The Maryland Affiliate headquarters of the American Diabetes Association is at 2 Reservoir Circle, Suite 203, Pikesville. The affiliate and its chapters all over Maryland offer services for diabetics and their families. People who feel at risk may call the affiliate at 484-5515 and request a copy of a self-administered test of eight questions that address a person's risk of having diabetes.

The affiliate also offers research grants, professional, public and patient education, speakers bureau, fund-raising events, nutrition counseling as well as programs, youth services and Camp Glyndon, which is a residential summer camp for children with diabetes.

It served 405 campers and 43 families last year. The camp opened for the season last week and will continue with one- and two-week sessions through Aug. 16.

Dan Markowitz, camp director, says camp openings are available for the weeks of Aug. 4 and Aug. 11. Applications must be made through the affiliate. Children should have a health report from their physicians. For applications, call the affiliate. Markowitz says that he would gladly discuss details of camping at 833-4229.

Executive director Louis J. Bandell, who has a four-member staff, says the affiliate also has a Teen Retreat at Camp Glyndon each fall. Also its youth service committee holds family events and sends young members to the National Youth Congress. This year a Halloween party for children younger than 10 and their families is being planned.

Donations and fund-raisers keep research and services available to diabetics. Those who wish to can designate their contributions through the United Way campaign or charity campaigns. Or contributions may be sent to the affiliate.

For locations of the Maryland chapters, information about Camp Glyndon or to volunteer for the many support programs, call Treva Zyna, program director, at 486-5515.

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