Texas AgriLIFE Extension in Orange County is offering a free diabetes educational program, cooking demonstration and dinner 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Feb. 16 at Baptist Orange Hospital on the 5th floor classroom at 608 Strickland Drive; Orange. The “Taking Control” presentation will be presented by Steve Willie of Arizona. He is a real patient that lives with diabetes and educates peers on taking control of the disease.Willie willsharediabetes self-management and lifestyle strategies based on extensive training andhispersonalexperience living with diabetes.

Willieis a member of the A1C Champions® Program, supported by Sanofi, which is a patient led

approach to diabetes education. A1C Champions® know first-hand the challenges and obstaclesmaintaining control of their diabetes.

Williewill cover topics including:

• Achieving good glucose control

• Learning about effective self-management

• Developing a balanced, healthy lifestyle

• Planning and prioritizing diabetes management

• Overcoming fears surrounding diabetes

• Finding resources for diabetes support

If you or someone you know is struggling with diabetes or has an A1C that is seven percent or above, the A1CChampions® can provide motivation to take those first steps to better blood glucose control. Diabetespatients need to know they are not alone and there are people likeWilliewho can help them along theirjourney with diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic, widespread condition characterized by high blood sugar in which the bodydoes not produce or properly use insulin, the hormone needed to transport glucose (sugar) from the bloodinto the cells of the body for energy. It is estimated that that nearly 26 million people in the United Stateshave diabetes, including an estimated seven million who remain undiagnosed. At the same time, about 40percent of those diagnosed with diabetes did not achieve the blood sugar control target of A1C less than seven percentrecommended by the American Diabetes Association. The A1C test measures average blood glucoselevels over the past two- to three-month period.

Contact the AgriLIFE office at 409-882-7010 to reserve your seat, space is limited.

A second educational opportunity will take place from 9-11 a.m., on Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Bridge City Senior Citizen Center. This is an interactive diabetes workshop focusing on managing your diabetes using the diabetes conversation map tool.”The Conversation Map session personalizes the patients’ management of diabetes because the sessions give them the opportunity to share their story and also learn from other people who are on the same journey for control of their diabetes.”

“Join us for a fun filled two hours that will include breakfast,” said County Extension Agent Paula Tacker. Call 409-882-7010 to reserve your seat. “Call and invite a friend of family member,” said Tacker. “Let’s get healthy together.”

Tacker is over Family and Consumer Sciences.

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.