Flamingos Help Fight Diabetes

By: Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Diabetes is a disease that strikes both adults and children.  This month groups throughout West Texas are raising money in hopes of finding a cure for the disease.

One Midland group is enlisting some pink plastic friends for help.

"Congratulations you've been flocked," those are the words victims of the Masked Flamingo receive after finding a flock of plastic birds in their yard.

The flamingo's are migrating to West Texas in an effort to help fight diabetes.

"We saw somebody running from our house and we actually thought we were being wrapped," flocking victim Brian Roberts said.

Knowing it was for a good cause Roberts took the feathered loiters in stride.

"It's great, we need to keep pushing it on and raising more money," he said.

Jena Tumlin came up with the idea to help the Midland Business Builders raise money for the American Diabetes Association.

"It's hard to walk up to someone and say will you give me money for this," Tumlin said. "But if you think of a fun way to do it, more people get involved."    

Diabetes prevents the body from properly processing or using insulin. Side effects can range from every day inconveniences to serious health issues. 

Tumlin sees the effects of the disease everyday.

"My husband has a Type 1 diabetes," she said. "Right now, my husband is suffering from diabetic retinopathy. There's a possibility he will not see kids graduate because he's losing his vision."

So her team descended upon unsuspecting neighborhoods and businesses in exchange for a donation to the American Diabetes Association.

They set out more than 3,000 plastic birds and raised $1,700 and counting.

Tumlin hopes her winged friends' support will lead to a major break through for the disease.

"I want to see the actual implementation of something that can be implanted that will fix everything," she said.

Until diabetes is defeated the Masked Flamingos' friends will continue to migrate to unsuspecting yards, but they don't stay for long.

"Of course the removal of these flamingos will be done at no charge within 24 hours," The Masked Flamingo states. "So please don't hurt our pink feathered friends."

On October 16, Tumlin's group will present how much money they raised at the ADA's walk against diabetes.

To sick a flock of flamingos on one of your friends, you can call or email the Masked Flamingo at 432-413-0155 or you can log on to www.diabetes.org/stepout.