John Paul Nguyen

Cleburne High School senior John Paul Nguyen reads his winning diabetes essay to the Cleburne Lions Club on Wednesday. He will present his essay in the district competition in January.


The Cleburne Lions Club received a lesson on diabetes and how the disease affects people from three local students on Wednesday.

Cleburne High School seniors John Paul Nguyen, Alexis Wallen and Jack Robinson participated in the Lions’ Diabetes Awareness Essay Contest, by placing first, second and third respectively. Nguyen will move on to the Lions’ district competition on Jan. 18. 

The contest is an annual competition allowing student participants the opportunity to research, organize and present perspectives on a given topic related to diabetes. 

With almost 400 million people worldwide suffering from the three types of diabetes and with Texas Lions involved in helping youth with the disease, the contest emphasizes the need for new ideas, understanding and dissecting societal and individual issues associated with the condition 

The 2019-20 contest theme was “Diabetes 101” where contestants were asked to research and write about the different types of diabetes to get a greater understanding of symptoms, causes, risk factors and long-term complications of having diabetes, according to its website. The essays should identify both medical treatments and lifestyle choices that can help individuals manage their diabetes. 

“After a long day of lifeless schoolwork and overwhelming playground activities, the children finally come home,” Nguyen’s essay reads. “Their initial reaction is to look in the fridge to find a family favorite sweetened drink to chug down, which fulfills their needs of temporary happiness and escape from the prison in which they are exhausted of. 

“It’s one of several bad habits that have built a hurdle of health problems through consumption that is growing within the nation. What harm could these sweet little drinks bring and how do certain things we consume lead up to critical problems? The extensive concern that arises and one of the greatest medical issues in the world to which Americans tend to struggle the most from is the issue of diabetes.” 

Diabetes is a disease where the body is unable to produce insulin in the pancreas, resulting in the blood and urine systems experiencing an increase in glucose levels and abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates, the essay reads.  

“By taking charge to change our habits and grow precaution for this disease, we will be able to reduce health risks associated with it while creating a better healthy style of living,” the essay reads. “Although some diabetes are contracted without notice or choice, we have certain medications that can aid in deducting the effects of it [and] getting insulin in the bloodstream to help process glucose, and this will ultimately lead to a step in the right direction to reduce this high rate of diabetes.” 

Lions also voted for Adams Elementary School students who participated in the club’s annual Drug Awareness Poster Contest where contestants must highlight the dangers and/or consequences of using drugs, alcohol and tobacco. 

For information about the contest, visit

Lions diabetes essay

Cleburne High School seniors, from left, John Paul Nguyen, Alexis Wallen and Jack Robinson read their diabetes essays on Wednesday to the Cleburne Lions Club. Nguyen will present his winning essay in the district competition in January.




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