Better Together: A family's joint effort 
to manage type 2 Diabetes with the help 
of Dexcom G7
The content in this article should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider regarding your individual health needs. 
“Having something as easy to understand as the Dexcom G7 has made it incredible for my mom to keep a pulse on my dad's Type 2 diabetes. It's something she didn't have before, and I know for a fact she's incredibly grateful for it.” - Annie Leal 
In the vibrant tapestry of Mexican culture, food and family are important threads that bind. So, when Leo Leal was diagnosed with diabetes, his health management unsurprisingly became a true family affair that ultimately inspired the creation of a food business. 
When the 68-year-old McAllen, Texas, resident and Dexcom Warrior learned he had Type 2 diabetes in 2014, he was no stranger to the condition. His mother died from complications related to diabetes in 2004 after some 30 years trying to manage with fewer resources. 

“Having something as easy to understand as the Dexcom G7 has made it incredible for my mom to keep a pulse on my dad's Type 2 diabetes. It's something she didn't have before, and I know for a fact she's incredibly grateful for it.”

- Annie L.
“When I got diagnosed, I related back to her experience,” Leo said. “It was initially overwhelming. But I knew the resources available now could help me really manage diabetes in a positive way. I believed from the get-go we were going to tackle it.”  
When diagnosed, Leo’s A1C was above 12%, which he described as making him feel as if it was “almost a death sentence.” His family rallied immediately, learning all they could about the condition and the lifestyle changes they all needed to make to support him. 
“The big game changer was my wife Martha and daughters Annie and Dani, who have stood behind me every step of the way,” he said. “We really got together and started going over options to try to keep this under control. The impact of adjusting diet, and ramping up exercise through daily walking, was swift. Three months after his first diagnosis, he got his A1C down to a better level. Yet daily management remained a concern and Leo wanted more real-time, actionable data to adjust his habits. And remembering Leo’s mother’s struggles, the close-knit family fretted as he traveled back and forth across Texas for his job as a licensed court translator. 
“It was a lot of worrying, a lot of asking my dad how his glucose levels were,” Annie said. “It was a lot of my mom bothering my dad any time she saw a slight change in him, and I think it just added a lot of tension to conversations around the diagnosis.” 

Knowledge is power

After nine years of fingersticks, guesswork and worrying, everything changed for Leo and his family when he started using 
Dexcom G7 Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) System in July 2023.  
“When I was first diagnosed almost 10 years ago, the only option available for monitoring your levels was the fingersticks and pinching your finger,” Leo said. “The difficulty of using just a fingerstick was that I only took my readings in the morning, so I couldn’t find out what triggered a high or a low. It wasn't giving me a clear picture all day long. But now with Dexcom G7, it's amazing! When I started using it, I found it to be very easy to use, very intuitive. It gives me better control of what's going on in my daily activities, and knowledge is power.” 
Using Dexcom G7, he has access to his glucose levels with just a glance at the app on his phone, allowing him to better manage his diabetes in real time.  
“One of the features I really enjoy the most about the Dexcom G7 is the Clarity feature that allows you to know what's going on for 3, 7, 14, 30 and 90 day increments,” Leo said. “I know I can trace back a spike to a particular event, let's say eating at a sports game, where I may have lost control of things. With this information, I can adjust for future activities.” 
He also raves about the G7’s accuracy. 
"It was incredible,” Leo said. “I had real-time feedback on my glucose levels without having to prick my fingers. It's so accurate and easy, it's been a real encouragement to me." 
Beyond the accurate real-time information and trend data, Leo and his family also use the Dexcom Follow app* to its fullest.  
“My mom loves the Follow app,*” Leo’s daughter Annie said. “When my dad is on a trip, my mom unprompted usually goes around the house showing us our dad's glucose levels. The Follow app is just such a great way to stay connected as a family, to make sure my dad has the support he needs when he's away, and it's been incredible. It also removes a lot of the taboos around diabetes and having conversations around it. We don't need to ask – we can just check, and I think that's such a fantastic thing.” 
And when Leo does decide to indulge in a high-carb snack or beer, he knows he'll hear about it from Martha when she sees it on the Follow app. That extra nudge helps him stay motivated to make healthier choices. 
“My mom is the glue that keeps this family together,” Annie said. “My mom is nurturing, and it's been incredible to see her do that with my dad as well. She is the one who sets the rules in the house and makes sure everybody's healthy and staying on top of things. She and my dad make a wonderful couple and seeing them support each other through this has been really inspiring to me and my sister.” 
Notably, Martha doesn’t speak English. But Dexcom G7 has also helped bridge the language gap with its intuitiveness to empower her to help Leo every day. 
“She has had to navigate this whole journey with my dad’s diabetes asking for translations, looking up the information herself online,” Annie said. “So, having something as easy to understand as the Dexcom G7 has made it incredible for her to keep a pulse on my dad's diagnosis. It's something that she didn't have before, and I know for a fact she's incredibly grateful for it.” 
No matter the language or culture, changing a lifestyle and diet after a diabetes diagnosis can be challenging. That was especially true for the Leal family. 
“Being Mexican means being loud and proud, and a lot of that translates in hispanic food,” Annie said. “Food is everything for everybody, but especially for the Mexican community. It reminds us of where we came from and how we make sure we don't forget tradition and those who came before us. So, it's important to keep them alive and be able to enjoy it, regardless of your dietary restrictions. And Dexcom G7 allows you to make changes, small changes, so you can still enjoy those things. You can still celebrate family and celebrate culture, just in healthier ways.” 
Or you could also create those healthier ways yourself, like Annie did.  

Viva Chamoy Dad 

After Leo’s diagnosis, Annie noticed his sugar-free candy cabinet was packed with American treats but lacked his Mexican favorites. That was the genesis of a passion project for her dad and the Latino diabetes community. 
Annie created a healthier version of chamoy, a popular sweet-sour-spicy Mexican condiment used with fruits, vegetables or meats. Her sugar-free I Love Chamoy recipe is designed specifically to avoid spiking glucose levels while still tasting great. It has proved popular, even appearing on the Shark Tank TV series, and has been instrumental in getting the Latino community to discuss diabetes and healthier food options. 
“Diabetes is not something that the Latino community talks about so openly,” Annie said. “We talk about food very openly, we're proud of it and we love it. We talk about family. But for whatever reason, talking about diabetes has been a complicated issue in the community. So being able to tell my dad's story has encouraged many other people to be able to share their own journeys with it, to share their own struggles. And I think it's just made all of us stronger and more confident as we deal with this disease.” 

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*Separate Dexcom Follow app and internet connection required. Users should always confirm readings on the Dexcom G7 app or receiver before making treatment decisions. †Individual results may vary 
BRIEF SAFETY STATEMENT: Failure to use the Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitoring System and its components according to the instructions for use provided with your device and available at and to properly consider all indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and cautions in those instructions for use may result in you missing a severe hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) or hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) occurrence and/or making a treatment decision that may result in injury. If your glucose alerts and readings from the Dexcom CGM do not match symptoms, use a blood glucose meter to make diabetes treatment decisions. Seek medical advice and attention when appropriate, including for any medical emergency.  
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