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Last summer, when the Longs were struggling to pay their power bill, they turned to M.I. Lewis Social Service Center in Dickinson, which steered them to The Jesse Tree, a faith-based agency that works to connect people with social services.

Officials with The Jesse Tree told Eddie they could provide him with diabetes test strips that cost about $50 a month and aren’t covered by Medicare, if he attended diabetes management classes. Eddie first went to the classes to save money. But he stayed for the healing and camaraderie, the couple said. Feeling better after her medical branch visit, Mary began joining her husband in The Jesses Tree classes. Both have learned to cook healthy foods and take better care of themselves. Both said the preventive measures and chronic disease management services by both the medical branch and The Jesse Tree changed their lives and have saved them costly medical bills. They feel better. Grateful, they’re volunteering for The Jesse Tree and working to spread the word to others with illness.

“We are rehabilitated,” Mary Long said.

Story taken from Galveston Daily Newspaper, July 22, 2012.