HomeHaddonfield NewsHaddonfield resident inspires others to stay healthy

Haddonfield resident inspires others to stay healthy

Gregory McMillan shared his story when he decided to write his own narrative in the book, “In Your Own Words,” a book published by Novo Nordisk.

Words help us understand a story, whether it is trying to convey our own or understanding someone else’s. To write about our lives is a risky process that leaves most people feeling vulnerable. Luckily, that is a risk Haddonfield native Gregory McMillan took when he decided to write his own narrative in the book, “In Your Own Words,” a book published by Novo Nordisk.

“In Your Own Words” consists of a collection of letters by 21 people with type 2 diabetes who have shared their stories in the form of letters, addressed to their younger self. Each of the stories reflects on the trials and tribulations of having a disease that needs to be managed every day.

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McMillan was inspired to write about his experience so he could help others take their health into their own hands.

“I enjoy healing people and seeing them be the best them they can be,” McMillan said.

McMillan was motivated to share his story after his mother passed away from complications of type 2 diabetes at the age of 74. Since a young age, McMillan began feeling frequent cold sweats and shakes but couldn’t find relief or answers after seeking medical attention. After years of going undiagnosed, he discovered the illness that had been ailing him for years — type 2 diabetes.

A lifelong and incurable disease, type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar, and can be potentially life-threatening if not managed properly.

Realizing he had to change his whole lifestyle, McMillan knew he had to manage his health to be around long enough to see his four kids, Tirzah, Uri, Moriah and Mackenzie, grow up, as well as be a husband to his wife of 23 years, Helene. His family continuously helps him stay motivated, and he admits it would be difficult to stay on top of his health without the support of his family.

“The family is the backbone of keeping me healthy,” McMillan said. “Without them, I wouldn’t be able to stay on top of my health.”

McMillan graduated from Haddonfield Memorial High School in 1986, eventually continuing his education and graduating with a degree in theology in 1998 from Jameson Christian College so he could fulfill his dreams of becoming a pastor.

McMillan is a pastor at Hamilton Square Baptist Church, where he shares his story of learning how to manage diabetes and helps others who have chronic illnesses.

One of the few people he has positively influenced is his longtime friend John Finley, who knows firsthand how helpful McMillan is. When Finley turned 40, he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, leading to various symptoms that seemed to be getting worse. McMillan referred Finley to his doctor and, within a month, Finley was able to get on the proper medication to manage his blood sugar levels. Finely is now in good health, which he attributes to McMillan.

“He kind of saved my life in a way,” Finley said.

He explained by directing him to see a new doctor and take control of his health, he has learned to better manage his diabetes.

“Greg’s a people person,’’ Finley said. “He is always trying to help someone, whether it’s related to the church or friends or family, whoever is in need, he is always offering his services.’’

Anyone interesting in reading more about McMillan’s story and others can go to www.novonordisk.com/patients/diabetes-care/type-2/in-your-own-words.html.

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