Charity walks fill weekend calendar
Charity walk traffic jams occur several times each year in the Midlands, and Saturday is one of those days.
There’s a National Alliance on Mental Illness walk on the Cayce-West Columbia Riverwalk, an autism-awareness walk at Finlay Park and a cystic fibrosis walk at Saluda Shoals Park, all starting at 9 a.m.
Here are the details:
• The NAMI Mid-Carolina chapter’s annual 5K walk begins at the West Columbia amphitheater. Register at www.midcarolinanamiwalks.org or call (803) 206-2916 for more information. NAMI Mid-Carolina offers free mental health programs and support services.
• Strides for Autism, the annual awareness-raising event for the S.C. Autism Society, includes a fun walk, a resource fair and family activities. Call (803) 750-6988 or log on at www.scautism.org
• Participants in Great Strides for Cystic Fibrosis should meet at Saluda Shoals Park’s Riverbirch Shelter. Money raised through walker’s pledges and donations is used to support programs and to fund research for treatments and a cure. To register or form a team, go to www.cff.org/great_strides.
Health fairs proliferate, too
Health fairs and community screenings are starting to become as common as garage sales. And that’s a good thing.
• The Heritage at Lowman has scheduled a health and wellness fair, 10 a.m-2 p.m. Friday at the Lowman facility at 2101 Dutch Fork Road in Chapin. Health care organizations and specialists will be there to answer questions. Also, participants can get chair massages, hearing tests and an array of health screenings. The event is open to the public. Call (803) 451-7414.
• A community health fair is scheduled 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the Northlands Child Development Center at 6001 Farrow Road, Columbia. Participants can learn about breast and prostate cancer and about affordable medical insurance. They can be screened for diabetes and register for mammograms. Call (803) 787-7593.
• A health fair for residents of the Lyon Street, Waverly and Lower Waverly neighborhoods is set for 8 a.m.-1 p.m. June 2 at Friendship Baptist Church Family Life Center, 1237 House St. in Columbia. Residents will be able to receive screenings for blood pressure, sickle cell anemia, diabetes and HIV/AIDS and set up appointments for breast, cervical cancer and glucose exams. Nutrition classes also will be offered. Call (803) 256-5381 to register for blood work.
• Man to Man: Let’s Change Our Health on June 9 includes breakfast, expert advice and health screenings for prostate cancer, diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure. The screenings are 7-9 a.m. at Palmetto Health Baptist at 1501 Sumter St. The breakfast begins at 9 a.m. Call (803) 296-2273 for information.
Testing for hepatitis getting easier
Saturday is National Hepatitis Testing Day. Did you know an estimated 58,000 to 85,000 people in South Carolina are living with chronic hepatitis B or C, and 75 percent of them aren’t aware they have it.
“Viral hepatitis is considered a ‘silent’ disease because it progresses slowly and rarely causes symptoms of liver damage until decades after infection,” said Janet Tapp, director of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s STD/HIV division. “By the time many people show symptoms, the damage to the liver can be serious.”
People who don’t know they have the disease aren’t getting treatment or making the lifestyle changes necessary to protect their lives. The consequences of these poor health choices are starting to show as the death rate from hepatitis C surpassed the death rate for HIV in 2007.
New rapid testing technologies should make it easier for people to be tested this year, Tapp said. AID Upstate in Greenville has been piloting the new rapid testing. For information about where to get tested, call DHEC’s AIDS/STD hotline at (800) 322-2437 or go to scdhec.gov/stdhiv.
Teen Summit set for Dreher High
“Dating & Waiting” is the theme for the Palmetto Health Teen Summit, scheduled for June 8 at Dreher High School.
The free event will give teens an opportunity to discuss a variety of health topics and help each other understand the consequences of risky behavior, which often increases during the summer.
Students in grades 6–12 are invited. Registration and parent/guardian permission are required.
The event is from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the school, at 3319 Millwood Ave., Columbia.
Educational sessions will cover a range of topics including teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, dating violence, college life, body image and self-esteem. Parents also can learn about these topics in a separate session.
Teens who register by June 1 will be entered into a drawing for a $500 shopping spree to the Village at Sandhill. There also will be drawings for two $250 shopping sprees, and lunch from Chick-fil-A and ice cream from Baskin-Robbins will be served.
Those in need of transportation will be picked up at 7 a.m. at Webber Elementary, 140 Webber School Road, Eastover, and at 7:30 a.m. at Lower Richland High School, 2615 Lower Richland Blvd., Horrell Hill.
Information: (803) 296-2273
Safe cycling effort giving away a bike
To celebrate National Bike Safety Month, the Safe Streets Save Lives campaign is giving away a Specialized Hardrock Mountain Bike to one of the organization’s Facebook or Twitter followers. The contest will run through Friday, and a winner will be announced Monday.
Safe Streets Save Lives is a public-private partnership launched last month and designed to bring awareness to bicycling laws and safety.
“South Carolina actually has some of the most progressive laws in the country when it comes to bicycle safety, yet we rank 49th in the country when it comes to bicycle-related deaths,” said Rachael Bronson, executive director of the Palmetto Cycling Coalition.
Cycling groups are trying to raise public awareness of the need for drivers and bicyclists to share the road. For more information on the program, visit safestreetssavelives.org.
Compiled by Joey Holleman