This month, during National Diabetes Awareness Month, Cornelius Page is hoping to save a few lives.

The executive director of the Victorville-based Community Health Action Network has organized Diabetes Awareness Campaign Health Resource Fair in Hesperia on Saturday.

"Over 20 something odd million [Americans] are afflicted with Type II diabetes," Page said. Page is one of the 23.6 million Americans the American Diabetes Association estimates have the disease. "We want people to get a screening."

While the chronic disease is incurable, its symptoms can be managed through changes in diet and exercise. Without treatment, though, victims risk blindness, the amputation of extremities and coronary heart disease.

"The earlier that you check yourself out," said Page, "The more life you have to live."

The fair is co-sponsored by Staples, First 5 San Bernardino and St. Mary's Medical Center. The first 50 families with children to arrive get a free bag of groceries, courtesy of First 5, and there will also be backpacks with school supplies given away to school-aged children as well. There will also be presentations of low and no-cost health insurance options for the uninsured.

The fair is something that Page could have benefited from himself, only a few years ago.

"This was back in the year 2000," he said. "I'm like everyone else: I didn't believe in it."

Page was suffering from vision problems, including discoloration.

"I thought it was allergies. That could lead to blindness. That could lead to blood clots. And they can amputate your foot," he said. Instead, he caught it in time and now preaches early detection and prevention for others.

"Anything that's there can be controlled," said Page. "That's why I do what I do."

The Diabetes Awareness Campaign Health Resource Fair takes place Sat., Nov. 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Oasis Building of New Life Chapel, 10184 7th Avenue in Hesperia. The event is free to the public. For more information, call 760-241-9900.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/HesperiaStar.