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Team Liberty is aware of diabetes danger
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Kiss-A-Pig Team Liberty candidate Joel Osteen has blood drawn Wednesday morning by his wife, Liberty Regional Medical Center nurse Stephanie Osteen, to check his blood glucose levels at the hospital. - photo by Patty Leon

Representing Team Liberty in this year’s American Diabetes Association’s Kiss-A-Pig Campaign, Joel Osteen took a jab to the finger for his team Wednesday and had his blood glucose levels checked at Liberty Regional Medical Center.
Osteen’s wife, Stephanie, a nurse at the hospital, took a sample for a fasting blood sugar test, which measures blood glucose levels. It is often the first test done to check for pre-diabetes and diabetes.
“You need to get tested so you will know if you have an issue with it,” Osteen said. “It’s one way of knowing if you need to consult with your physician and begin taking preventative measures to keep it from getting worse.”
According to his test results, Osteen’s blood glucose levels are in the normal range.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States and the major cause of heart disease and stroke.
The ADA is planning an ALERT Day on March 23 for people considered at high risk for type 2 diabetes. Southeast Georgia and Coastal South Carolina ADA Director Maria Center said people considered at high risk are urged to get tested. She said risk factors include being older than 45, being overweight, having a sedentary lifestyle and having a family history of diabetes. African-Americans and Latinos also have an increased risk.
Symptoms of diabetes include extreme thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision and tingling in lower extremities.
Local residents can be screened from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. in the lobby of Liberty Regional Medical Center, which will host its ALERT Day  on Tuesday, March 22. The hospital is at 462 E. G. Miles Parkway in Hinesville.
LRMC Director of Marketing Rene’ Harwell said that people who will be tested should refrain from eating two hours before the test for accurate results. Water or a diet drink is acceptable before the test. For more information on ALERT Day, call Harwell at 369-9491. 
Team Liberty is entering its 15th year in the campaign and usually is Team Savannah Chatham County Public School’s top challenger.
Osteen and his campaign manager, Danny Creasy, are trying to reach the goal of raising $100,000 for this year’s Kiss-A-Pig event. The team is busy planning the eighth annual Friends for Diabetes Fun Shoot, scheduled for April 2 at the Dorchester Shooting Preserve in Midway. 
“I think we might have to push it to get to that goal. We have a lot of people working and trying to reach that goal,” Osteen said.
According to Center, the event is the single largest fundraiser for the ADA in the Southeast.
“This highly successful and popular event is the signature event for the Liberty County Kiss-a-Pig campaign,” she said. “This award-winning event has raised in excess of $335,000 for the mission of the American Diabetes Association.”
Teams of four can shoot for $500, and that includes lunch and a gift bag.
For more information, call Sheryl Rozier at 369-7634, Danny Creasy at 977-1082 or Joel Osteen at 877-2211. For more information about ALERT or Kiss-a-Pig, call Maria Center at 912-353-8110, ext. 3091 or e-mail

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