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Diabetes benefit now ‘a little personal’ for Menino

Mayor Thomas M. Menino has attended the CityFeast charity dinner every year since its founding in 2005. But Sunday’s meal had special meaning.

The annual benefit in the North End raises money to fight diabetes. Menino was diagnosed with the disease this past fall.

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“It’s a little personal for me,” he said at Antico Forno restaurant. “Whatever we can do to educate folks on diabetes is so important.”

After a recent eight-week hospital stay for a severe respiratory infection and a spinal fracture, he said the dinner would be a welcome treat.

“Man, I was looking forward to this, I tell ya,” he told the crowd of about 220. “Because, you ever eaten hospital food?”

The mayor was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Since his release last month, Menino has been undergoing physical therapy and has lived in the city’sParkman House mansion on Beacon Hill.

Menino urged people to be tested for diabetes.

“It’s the hidden disease of this decade,” he said.

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in which high blood sugar can cause problems with the heart, circulatory system, and nerves.

Carla Agrippino-Gomes, owner of Antico Forno, said her 22-year-old son, David, has lived with diabetes for nearly all of his life. She founded CityFeast eight years ago to benefit the Joslin Diabetes Center.

Organizers hoped to collect $40,000 on Sunday on top of the nearly $200,000 raised in past years.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at matthew.rocheleau@globe.com.
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