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JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Buddy Check 12 kits are now available for free in Braille, large print and electronic versions. So if you're visually impaired or you have an aunt, say in New York, who's elderly and can't see small print any more, you can give her the life-saving kit.

Buddy Check explains how to do a self exam, when to get a mammogram, and how to make sure the people in your life -- your buddies -- are staying alive.

The program has already saved hundreds of lives around Jacksonville. Started 20 years ago by First Coast News' Jeannie Blaylock and Baptist Health, Buddy Check is free for local folks and anyone in the country.

The new versions come from the folks at the ILAB at Florida State College at Jacksonville downtown. The Division of Blind services is handling the project and will work with anyone in the U.S. who needs the help.

Cheri Undheim wound up talking with Blaylock at a meeting several months ago and they decided to fill the need.

"I think it's awesome," Undheim said.

Latoya, a young woman who's visually impaired, said she does not read Braille, but she needs large print. She said the new Buddy Check kits give her independence and she likes doing things on her own.

The electronic versions show three sizes of large print on a computer screen and provide an audio version as well.

If you want to get a new version, just call (904) 348-2730 to reach the Division of Blind Services.

If you want a Buddy Check kit in the traditional format, call Baptist at 904-202-CARE.

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