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Golf tourney raises thousand for juvenile diabetes

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Rick Martin, organizer of the Kids Battle Diabetes Golf Tourney, walks among the dozens of golf carts before the noon start of the sold-out event.
Rick Martin talks with golfer Bruce Daniel (left) of Huff & Puff Trucking prior to the noon start. DALLUS WHITFIELD / The Wilson Post
Dr. Bill Russell

The third annual Kids Battle Diabetes Golf Classic was held Monday at Five Oaks Golf & Country Club in Lebanon.

Around 130 golfers came out - not only to take swings - but to raise funds for the Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. The event was coordinated by Rick Martin, whose son is affected by diabetes.

Dr. Bill Russell said that they follow almost 3,000 children with diabetes at Vanderbilt - and it can be very intensive.

"We have specialists come in like dieticians, endocrinologists - but Rick's program has allowed us to do something incredible. One thing we have noticed about following someone with diabetes is that it can damage your eyes," he explained. "It doesn't happen immediately, but over the years it begins to effect those who are not well-controlled. Of the kids who were supposed to be having annual vision screenings - about seven percent were actually getting them."

Thanks to contributions from the Kids Battle Diabetes event, they were able to purchase a screening device for the clinic and provide free annual screenings.

"Almost eight percent have had abnormalities and needed follow-up," Russell said. "It has been a really important thing to screen people. We picked up kids who were on the verge of losing their vision."

The 2015 event raised $33,000 - a number Martin hopes to top when 2016 numbers for the tournament and silent auction come in.

"I'm tickled to see all these people out here," he said.

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at

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children, community, diabetes, event, Five Oaks Golf and Country Club, golf, health, Kids, Kids Battle Diabetes, tournament
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