Marilyn Cathey

Nashville, TN

In 1999 Marilyn was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and in 2010 she became insulin dependent. Family genetics, an unhealthy diet and being overweight most likely contributed to the onset of her diagnosis. Appointed by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Marilyn proudly serves as a Tennessee Health Ambassador who is trained and certified through the Office of Minority Health and Disparity Elimination.  Her desire is to develop and implement grass root initiatives in underserved communities in the area of Health and Wellness. Marilyn believes two things, that you cannot exercise away a bad diet and that healthy eating is key to managing and controlling diabetes. Inspired by her granddaughters and a last promise she made to her mother also a type 2 diabetic, led Marilyn to create her first nonprofit organization, Sugga Mommas Cooking Club.

Focusing on the future, our children, SMCC is housed in a local Nashville community center and is a part of their summer camp programming. Sugga Mommas provides the opportunity to young girls whose families may not be able to afford summer camp or cooking classes. Marilyn’s second partner is The Old School Farm, which provides SMGC with fresh organic produce, gardening space, a commercial kitchen and a chef that teaches them how to prepare their harvest in bulk.  Among children born in 2000, forty nine percent of African American girls will face a lifetime risk of being diagnosed with diabetes. Our goal is that our program will identify and help to reverse bad habits contributing to the future projections on our children’s health and well-being Marilyn believes God’s greatest gift to woman is the power of influence, and as mothers with the right information we can teach our children how to make healthier lifestyle choices that will carry on for generations! 

My Momma Said, ”Marilyn baby, get it together, lead by example, lose the weight and inspire others like you to do the same!” I feel she left me a great roadmap and I hope that you will join in and take the journey with me! I AM keeping that promise!