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Baptist Health offers free program to help diabetic patients

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Getting a diabetes diagnosis can be overwhelming. It certainly was for 59 year old Raymond Harrison.

Harrison says, "It was a surprise. and I thought at that point, I'm like, I got a little depressed because I thought my life is over." Knowing very little about diabetes, he decided to enroll in a free, one-year program at Baptist Health. The program was made possible by a grant from Verizon.

"I started attending the classes, and it was quite impressive, in terms of what you learn there," said Harrison.

This project is unique because participants work directly with certified diabetes educators, like Wendy Byrd. They also receive diabetes technology and equipment at no cost.

Byrd says, "A glucometer to check their blood sugar with, as well as test strips, blood pressure cuff, a pedometer, We'll weigh them monthly, as well as keep up with their activity." Harrison adds, "If you go into the pharmacy or any stores and you price those things you see they're costly and to be able to get those things free of charge and to utilize them to your benefit... you can't ask for anything more."

Harrison says this program empowered him to take better care of himself, and he's hoping others take advantage of it, too.

"The amount of information they give you in this program is enormous, and it truly helps you live a different type of life. I know what it has done for me, and I would like to see others have the opportunity to experience what I've experienced," he says

Baptist Health is kicking off a new round of this program, and they're looking for 100 new participants. You must be a diabetic between the ages of 18 and 40. Space is limited, so if you'd like to register call 501-202-1540.

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