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‘Living with Diabetes’ community awareness program April 27

April 24, 2013
Pine Island Eagle

Do you find that you often feel tired and very thirsty? Do you experience blurred vision or frequent urination? These are all common symptoms of diabetes. The 21st Century Collaboration Health Services Committee is hosting "Living with Diabetes;" a free community event to raise awareness and educate the community about the seriousness of diabetes, especially when it is left undiagnosed or untreated. Nearly 26 million people in the U.S. are living with diabetes, seven million of which don't even know they have it.

Learn about how diabetes can affect your health and take advantage of free blood sugar testing, free nutritional information, and free consultations at "Living with Diabetes" on Saturday, April 27, from 9 a.m. until noon, at Mount Hermon Ministries, 2856 Douglas Ave., Fort Myers. Please bring reusable shopping bags or a box with you to take home some of the free groceries provided by the Harry Chapin Food Bank that will be given to participants, while supplies last.

"Living with diabetes is a lifelong challenge," explained Karen Krieger, Director of Community Affairs for Lee Memorial Health System. "This free community event provides education and resources for both preventing and maintaining diabetes. Part of diabetes care involves preventing complications and learning to recognize them early so they can be treated."

Diabetes is usually a lifelong (chronic) disease in which there are high levels of sugar in the blood. Anyone with high blood pressure, obesity or a family history should be screened. While diabetes is not fatal, complications from diabetes result in it being the fifth leading cause of death by disease in the United States. These complications include blindness, kidney failure, and heart disease. Although diabetes can be controlled with diet, medication, and exercise, it is a chronic condition for which there currently is no cure.

According to the American Diabetes Association, African Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes compared to the general population:

n 4.9 million (18.7 percent of) African Americans aged 20 years or older have diabetes.

n African Americans are 1.8 times more likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanic whites.

For more information please contact Karen Krieger at 239-573-4519, or by email at

The 21st Century Collaboration Health Services Committee is represented by: Department of Health, Family Health Centers, Harry Chapin Food Bank, Lee Memorial Health System, and Mount Hermon Ministries, Inc.



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