Giving Back: Art Imitating Life

Released: Monday, February 20, 2017

[As shared in 'Making an Impact’ newsletter]

At 78 years old, Le Robison feels better now than he did in his early 60s, thanks to his participation in a research study at Pennington Biomedical.

"The Look AHEAD study saved my life," Robison said, "I was really floundering after my diabetes diagnosis in 2001. My doctor warned that the disease was dangerous, but I didn't understand what it was or how to control it."

Robison's blood sugar remained high until he joined the Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) study, which focused on determining whether weight loss reduces sickness and death in people with type 2 diabetes.

"Thanks to Pennington Biomedical, I gained an understanding of what diabetes really is - and how serious the complications can be if you don't control it. After I joined the study, I learned what to eat and when to eat it, and my blood sugar has remained within the acceptable range ever since. I learned a whole new lifestyle," Robison said. "I can't explain it but I feel great - better than I did a couple decades ago!"

After Pennington Biomedical's Translational Research Clinic for Children opened in 2014, Robison felt compelled to give back. In 2015, he donated a beloved piece of art that had been hanging on his walls for years - an abstract work that his great-granddaughter painted several years ago.

"If you have children coming in and seeing things that other children created, I hope it can be an inspiration," Robison said. "Every time I come to Pennington Biomedical, I make a swing over to look at it. It's one way of saying thanks for the impact Pennington Biomedical has had on my life."

To see a list of current research studies in need of participants, check out or call 225-763-3000.

For more information on how you can support this and other projects at LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, visit