Jay Foreman’s family has a long history with diabetes. Almost everyone on his dad’s side has been affected by diabetes, including his aunt, father and grandfather. “My grandfather was my hero, and his death always affected me,” Jay said.
A former Husker and NFL veteran, Jay wanted to find an opportunity to give back to the community and help others, and because of his family’s history with diabetes, he wanted to help shed light on the disease. While living in Texas, he became involved with the American Diabetes Association and had plans to start his own nonprofit. More recently, these plans were put into overdrive, Jay said, when he got a call out of nowhere that his father had developed a gangrene infection in his foot. “That was a long 6-hour drive back to Minnesota,” he said.
In 2013, he started the Foreman Foundation, which works with the American Diabetes Association of Nebraska to help raise funds and awareness for diabetes. Jay says that he thinks it’s rare for people to not have some sort of connection to diabetes. Education is critical for those who have been diagnosed with diabetes or who are at risk of developing the disease. “You have to be able to manage it and get after it at the beginning,” Jay said. “Diabetes can be a ‘starter kit’ to other diseases, such as heart failure, hypertension, and kidney failure.”