SUN CITY CENTER: Learn to prevent stroke, diabetes

Published on: September 13, 2018

Lunch and learn events target stroke, diabetes prevention


Survival from a stroke depends on recognizing the signs and symptoms, knowing what to do and when, and receiving proper care. Two Lunch and Learn events are scheduled for the Sun City Center area on Sept. 18 and 25.

We’ve all heard about heart attacks and the life-threatening dangers they present. But fewer of us know about “brain attacks,” more commonly known as strokes. They can be just as damaging and often fatal.

Likewise, most people are familiar with the term diabetes; however, many aren’t aware of its symptoms and the long-term damage they can inflict. Yet there are ways to prevent or manage this silent, deadly disease.

The Sun City Center Emergency Squad, Sun Towers Retirement & Rehabilitation Community, the Men’s Club of Sun City Center and Tampa General Hospital have partnered to present two Lunch and Learn events called “Stroke & Diabetes: Are You at Risk?” on Sept. 18 and 25 to help you learn the risk factors and how you can keep from becoming a victim. Experts from Tampa General will speak and answer questions.

“As part of the squad’s service to the community, we want to help inform and educate our residents about important health issues,” said Mike Bardell, chief of the Sun City Center Emergency Squad. “Preventing stroke and managing diabetes are entirely possible, and helping people understand the basics for  maintaining their health is our goal.”

All Sun City Center residents are invited to attend. Since seating is limited, preregistration is required. To do so, call 813-660-6101. 

Each person who RSVPs gets a free box lunch provided by Tampa General.

The Sept. 18 Lunch and Learn will be from 1 to 3 p.m. at Sun City Center Community Hall, 1910 S. Pebble Beach Blvd. Registration and lunch are from 12:30 to 1 p.m.

The Sept. 25 event will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Veterans Theatre at the Kings Point North Club, 1900 Clubhouse Drive. Registration and lunch are from 12:30 to 1.

“This will be good information for anyone,” said Robin Watt, an emergency medical technician with the squad and a member of its board. “Learning to manage your blood sugar and blood pressure can go a long way toward preventing diabetes or a stroke.”

Bardell said he hopes further partnerships can bring future programs on other important topics to the community, as well.

According to the American Stroke Association, someone in the United States has a stroke about every 40 seconds. Anyone of any age can have one, but the risks increase with age. Survival depends on recognizing the signs and symptoms, knowing what to do and when, and receiving proper care.

Likewise, diabetes can strike anyone. According to the Diabetes Research Foundation, the number of people living with the disease has jumped almost 50 percent in the past decade to include more than 30 million Americans. Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, amputations, heart failure and stroke, and many folks aren’t even aware they have it. Learning its risk factors and how to prevent the disease can save lives.

“I hate to say it, but people are actually dying in this community for their lack of knowledge,” said Debbie Caneen, director of admissions for the Sun Towers Retirement & Rehabilitation Community. “The free education they’ll get in these Lunch and Learns can actually mean the difference between life and death.”

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