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Rev Run and Justine talk health and the holidays

Julia Johnston

College News checks in with Rev Run and his wife, Justine, as they tell us about their latest diabetes awareness campaign

CN: Can you tell me a little bit about why you got involved with the campaign?

Rev Run: For me it’s because my manager who manages my day to day, his father had diabetes and I told him my father had diabetes so he was talking with Novo Nordisk and at that point he pulled me in and we had a meeting with them. They had a campaign called Ask Screen Know,  and we created this website called So next thing you know I’m out on the road talking to people about it. I had to take my own test to make sure I didn’t have diabetes, which I was afraid to do. So, I started talking to people, about me being afraid and what motivated me to take the test. A lot of my friends were scared to go to the doctor. When I thought about my children, that’s when it struck a chord. So I tell people, if you don’t want to do it for you, do it for the ones you love. I started talking about it, going to colleges and I went to many churches with Novo Nordisk.  We’ve been getting the word out there. [I] found out recently, about a year ago actually, that November 14th is World Diabetes Day, come to find out that’s my birthday. Based on that I’m like, “This has to be my calling. This is God speaking.”
 So, it’s something that’s near and dear to my heart. I’m doing it for the fans. I’m doing it for my dad who had diabetes. I don’t have diabetes, but I’m at risk. I’m over 45, that’s a risk. I’m African American, [that] makes me doubles at risk. I’m overweight, I had to lose some pounds, I’m still working on that. With all that going on, I realize that this is what I’m supposed to be talking about and it’s been very effective and helped a lot of people.

CN: Justine were you motivations similar about learning your risks and getting screened?

Justine: Yes, it was. I didn’t join when my husband did at first and so it was after a year or so I realized wow, I’m really at risk here as well. When I went on AskScreenKnow .com, I saw it was over 45, African American, runs in your family, overweight ,and I’m like “Oh my gosh, four already!” That was me so from there my husband was like “Okay, you’re not finished. You have to go see a doctor.” So I went to see a doctor and thank goodness, I didn’t know because I was just going to get a checkup and he said “No, you have to make an appointment to make sure you get screened. Make sure they screen you for diabetes” and I did and I was so terrified and I did it scared. They say go scared because what you don’t know  can hurt you when it comes to diabetes. So, I went, they said I didn’t have it but I was at risk. I said “Okay what can we do here? What can you do to help cut that risk of having diabetes?”  One was eating right,  exercise, and so what I did, I got my family [on board]–thank goodness my son Daniel he had already starting working out and eating right . I can’t even believe the fruit and vegetables that I make sure [we have].  I make sure we have fruit in the house and accessible to grab, so we have no excuses. If I buy pineapple, it’s all cut up so I can’t even say I don’t feel like cutting  it, same with apples. Everything’s cut up and accessible to just grab those good things. Yeah it has changed, since young I was eating wrong I wasn’t brought up in a family that taught me fresh vegetables and all those good things. A lot of times, it can get handed down in your generation and so my husband and I, we’re really here to help people become aware. Please just go online to, from there take the risk factor assessment, from there, please just go see a doctor and ask to be screened, from there if you do have it go to and see the different things you need to do.  Of course, your doctor is going to tell you as well what to do but this also can be a maintained and a controlled disease as well. You can live a diabetes life that you don’t even feel like you have diabetes and that’s all with the knowledge that Novo Nordisk has given us.

CN: Do you have anything planned to keep you and your family healthy for the holidays?

Justine: Yeah we already started because number one, this is our second year and we almost think we’re kind of like pros with this. I did learn some new vegetables…I always say “new vegetables” and my husband’s like “Justine, Brussels sprouts have been around for years” new to me and I love them and the kids love them and asparagus! My husband loves this “not fried chicken”, it’s done in the oven and crispy and it really tastes good.

Rev Run: That one’s on the website as a matter of fact.

Justine: Yeah, if you go you can see that. We have more recipes coming and there is a way. Trust me, if I can do this anybody can. I’m serious.

CN: Where can we go to find out more about risk factor assessment?

Rev Run: The best thing to do is go to We created an amazing website, it has all the information you need. Go there, take your risk assessment, and see what you can get done at your doctor’s. Go, and make sure you request to get your screening!

You can watch the entire interview here:,AAAAAAHur4I~,diYZRj_HSFq3I0J5u4e4VKgTfmoM3B0i&bctid=3888774837001

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