Thursday, May 13, 2010


Amado Mena of Easy Shipping, President of the Diabetes Association Anthony A. Castillo and Bruce Sanchez, Jr of Bruce Bike Shop

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. May. 6, 2010

In their efforts to assist the Belize Diabetes Association, Bruce Bike Shop, located at # 1834 corners Chancellor St. and Blue Marlin Boulevard, Belize City, teamed up with Easy Shipping Services, located in Miami, Florida, to offer temporary office space, and facilitate the free shipment of 200 diabetic monitors from a Belizean contributor residing in Miami, Florida.

On Tuesday, May 4, 2010 President of the Diabetes Association Anthony A. Castillo, who is also a diabetic, contacted Amandala to share the news. According to Castillo the association is receiving diabetic monitors from one Ronnie “Bala” Leslie, Belizean, businessman and current resident of Miami Florida, who he [Castillo] met through a mutual friend.

“Mr. Leslie is at this time trying to gather the Belizean community in Miami to aid in this cause, by monetary donation, or transporting more of the monitors down here to Belize, as he [Bala] is privy to thousands of them”. Castillo stated.

Bala, who is a type two diabetic, explained to Amandala also, “I met Mr. Castillo through my good friend (last year) and I asked him how I could become a member of the association. . . I told him since I was living in the USA I will try and assist the association in any way possible. . . I had access to these monitors through a business associate who was having a promotion on the monitors and asked me if I had any organization in Belize that I would like to donate them to . . . she then asked me if I wanted ten thousand of the monitors, but I told her that my condo didn’t have the space for all of it”.

The donation of the monitors was given to Bala by one Patrice Psychalla, United States citizen, of an anonymous corporation. The giving nature of these individuals, seem to be contagious, as yet another independent party donated their resource to the cause, that which came from the owner of Easy Shipping Services, Amado Mena, “I am so proud that I can help and do my part. . . I met Bala about two months ago when I visited a Belize association picnic in Miami, I introduced myself and we started talking, immediately he told me about the monitors he had and how he is trying to get them shipped to Belize. . . I offered to bring as many as I could to help and this first trip I brought down 10 cases which is two hundred in total, he gave me Castillo’s contact information, and here we are today”.

Mena, also told Amandala that he plans to bring at least 10 cases every trip he makes and hopes to inspire, as the other contributors have, more individuals to participate through monetary funds.

The monitors however are not fitted with the strips, which are US currency $7.00 for a box of 50, and the general public and businesses are being asked to assist in any way possible, to help with the additional shipments and strip cost.

The other major sponsor of the diabetes association is Bruce Bike Shop, owned by Bruce Sanchez senior and junior. “We [the diabetes association and the bike shop] joined together last year to do a fund raiser, for the diabetes awareness day which is November, 14.”

“It was only supposed to be a onetime thing, but my dad and I found that there is a lot of need for the association so we decided to help out further, by offering them a part of our shop to use as a temporary office . . . We hope to one day get the funds to set up the association’s own office, but for now they will be situated here with us”. Bruce junior stated.

The father and son duo, are not diabetics, but just firm believers in a healthy living and since they are owners of a sporting store, which is primarily centered around getting the community into a healthy way of living, it was only natural for them as he explained to partner with the association to bring awareness on a major killer of our citizens which is diabetes.

Over 39,000 persons in Belize are currently living with the disease, and the association along with all the contributors want to shed some light on the preventative measures each individual can take in assuring that if they are or aren’t diagnose with the disease, that it is a factor in our community and that diabetes shouldn’t be underestimated.

The Diabetes Association alongside Bruce Bike Shop, is currently working on developing a hotline number, but can be contacted at telephone number 223-7979 or if you have any other contributions needing shipment Mena can be contacted at

by Stacey Kelly

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