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ADA to hold training session for Kiss-a-Pig campaigns
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The official 2010 competitors so far are:
Dr. Linda Bleicken, president of Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah
Kenya Cabine, Radio Personality, E-93/WEAS, Savannah
Melissa Jackson, assistant campus director, University of Phoenix
Jon Long, Hospital Authority chairman, Liberty County
Jay Marshlick, owner, Greener Grass Salon, Savannah
Peter McMahon, general manager, Hyatt Regency Savannah
Dr. Rick Toomey, CEO, Beaufort Memorial Hospital, Beaufort, S.C.
Team Hogwarts School of Glycemic Control:
Katie Thompson, senior, St. Andrews School
Michael Greco, fifth grader, Southwest Elementary School
Team Tattnall County:
Jean Bridges, mayor of Glennville
Kenneth Jarrell, mayor of Collins
Jackie Trimm, mayor of Reidsville
Dr. Gina Williams, superintendent, Tattnall County Schools

The American Diabetes Association is accepting nominations for contestants and the deadline is March 2. Interested parties are invited to the training and information session on Feb. 24 to learn more about how they can become involved.

All funds raised during the Kiss-a-Pig campaign benefit the American Diabetes Association, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to curing (both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes) and improving the lives of all people affected by diabetes. Diabetes is the nation’s fifth deadliest disease, killing more than 220,000 Americans each year.  It is the leading cause of heart disease and stroke, adult blindness, kidney failure and non-traumatic amputations. For more information on how you can get involved in Kiss-a-Pig, contact Maria Center at 912-353-8110, ext. 3091 or

The largest fundraiser of the year for American Diabetes Association (ADA), Kiss-a-Pig, gets under way with a candidate training/information session on Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Savannah.

A contest between community leaders to raise money, Kiss-a-Pig enjoys popularity among area locals and is now a regional campaign with competitors from surrounding areas. This year’s campaign will include candidates from South Carolina as well as from communities throughout Southeast Georgia.

The 2010 theme is a child-friendly Harry Potter spoof and provides an excellent platform for creating awareness about Type 1 diabetes, a disease that strikes in childhood or young adulthood. The American Diabetes Association seeks to educate the public about Type 1 and the need for tight glucose control for preventing the devastating complications of diabetes.

For the first time ever, children living with diabetes will be in the contest to draw attention to Type 1 diabetes. These “youth ambassadors” will help the American Diabetes Association put a face on an invisible and serious disease that is misunderstood by many people.

Type 1 diabetes affects about 1 million people in the U.S. Type 1 diabetes is much less common than Type 2 diabetes and is a serious condition that won’t go away, it is for life. People who have Type 1 must take insulin every single day to stay alive. Type 1 diabetes is caused when the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells. This process can occur over a period of years before any symptoms appear at all.  Scientists believe that genes, viruses or infections, or other causes can trigger this immune response.

When first diagnosed, most people with Type 1 diabetes have typical symptoms of diabetes plus dangerously high blood glucose levels.  Typical symptoms are:
•  Frequent urination
•  Extreme thirst
•  Extreme hunger
•  Unexplained weight loss
•  Fatigue
•  Blurry vision
•  Frequent infections
•  Nausea or vomiting

“Most of the parents of children who are diagnosed have told me that they find out their child has Type 1 when they have to rush their children to the hospital with blood glucose levels that are off the charts,” said ADA Director Maria Center. “It’s very scary for these families. And once that diagnosis is a reality, their lives will never be the same again.”

The American Diabetes Association invites area children to be part of the “Hogwarts School of Glycemic Control.” For more information and to attend the training event, contact Maria Center at 353-8110, ext. 3091 or