Name: Edith Green
Church: Greenville Memorial AME Zion
Health Factors: Diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated A1C level

Her Story:

Edith Green has a strong family history of diabetes, but she never took it seriously until January when she joined Village HeartBEAT. Through health screenings, learned that her blood sugar was elevated. She was advised to seek medical help and was placed on medication.

She immediately stopped eating candy, sweets and stopped snacking (which she loved). She also hit the gym, switching between the treadmill and lifting weights.

Green said she lost 10 pounds in the first month after joining Village HeartBEAT, and her blood levels have improved. She now looks forward to some day being taken off her diabetes medication.

As a part of the program, Green was given tools, such as a nutrition plate and diabetic shoes, which have helped her on her journey.

Her challenges

Green said the hardest part for her has been thinking about what her mother and family members went through with diabetes. “It’s unfortunate that you have to deal with something like this that’s out of your control,” she said. “You know, I don’t think of it as something that my lifestyle brought on, but I can change it through healthier eating and a healthier lifestyle.”

Green also said she’s receiving more help from her primary physician. “I’ve recently been telling my doctor’s office,” You all need to play a bigger part in helping me to get well… There’s another group that’s helping me more than you all.”

The Easiest Things

Green said the some of the best things about joining Village HeartBEAT have been the exercise and the fellowship. “It’s all fun for me,” she said. “I enjoy meeting new people.” She said she’s extremely thankful for her Greenville Memorial family and for her team captain. “Without their support and encouragement,” she said, “I probably would’ve continued to take it lightly.”

Looking forward: Green said she’d love to see more young people get involved in the program. She wants to serve as a “living testimony” and would like to see a curriculum targeted specifically towards the health challenges of today’s youth.

“It’s a lifesaving program,” she said. “…With God’s help and the Village HeartBEAT program, I will be able to break this family curse…and overcome this disease.”

Editor’s Note: This story is part of a series profiling some of the success story of Village HeartBEAT, a faith-based wellness program operated by the Mecklenburg County Health Department.