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Residents walk to fight diabetes

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Oct. 24, 2002
Area residents committed to finding a cure for diabetes  and educating the public about the disease  will be at Bonita Lakes on Saturday for Diabetes Walk Fall Fling 2002.
Leslie Priester, Fall Fling organizer with the local diabetes foundation chapter, said the total number of teams involved and amount of money raised so far will not be known until "Bank Night" tonight.
Teams are scheduled to turn in money raised for this year's event at AmSouth Bank's Bonita Lakes branch from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Priester said more money will be turned in on Saturday as well. The money goes to the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi.
Jimmy E. Hoffer, this year's honorary chairman for the event, said he is looking forward to Saturday. He will be selling hot dogs along with other members of the Meridian Fire Department to help raise money.
Hoffer, 45, is a fire prevention specialist and public relations spokesman for the fire department who has diabetes. He said public education about diabetes is important.
East Mississippi has a high rate of diabetes. Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center, Riley Hospital and Rush Foundation Hospital all have programs to educate diabetes patients.
Cindy Barker, coordinator of the Rush Diabetes Resource Center, said diet, exercise, medication, monitoring and regular doctor's visits are the keys to successfully fighting the disease. But she agreed that everyone should be aware of the symptoms.
At the Diabetes Self-Management Center at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center, Terri Patterson, certified diabetes educator, said the center stays booked three weeks in advance to see people who have been newly diagnosed with diabetes and those who have follow-up appointments.
The Diabetes Walk Fall Fling 2002 will be held Saturday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Bonita Lakes. The walk is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Food, entertainment, activities for children and award presentations have been planned for the event.
Teams of walkers raise money for the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi to fund educational programs, services and research. For more information, call Leslie Priester at 485-2388, or the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi at (877) 336-2873.