Taking the Diabetes Fight to Congress

Gina GavlakToday’s guest post comes from Gina Gavlak, Chair of the National Advocacy Committee of the American Diabetes Association and a tireless advocate in the fight against diabetes.

Diabetes advocates are about to take Capitol Hill by storm at the American Diabetes Association’s Call to Congress! March 11-13, advocates from across the country will tell members of Congress to support people with diabetes.

On March 11, NASCAR driver Ryan Reed, who drives the No. 16 Lilly Diabetes/American Diabetes Association Ford Mustang in the Drive to Stop Diabetes, will also be attending the event, providing opening remarks to advocates and meeting with them before they head to Capitol Hill. Ryan, age 21, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes four years ago and was told he'd never race again. In spite of his diabetes, he won the XFINITY Series NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway on February 21.

NASCAR 2014:   XFinity Series Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang Jan 12

Every two years, hundreds of diabetes advocates gather at Call to Congress in Washington, D.C. They are people living with diabetes, parents, researchers and health care professionals. During Call to Congress, advocates will meet with their Senators and Representatives to make a strong case for research funding for prevention, management and the cure. Our message needs to be heard loud and clear.  We are gathering the names of tens of thousands of people around the country to make sureCongress hears the message that it cannot ignore the diabetes epidemic. We need your help! Just by signing our petition, you can help Stop Diabetes®.

The American Diabetes Association is asking Congress to support people with diabetes, and those at risk, by funding for the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Diabetes Translation, the National DiabetesPrevention Program and renewing the Special Diabetes Program. These programs and research are critical to preventing, treating and eventually curing diabetes.

By signing the petition, you will make a difference in the lives of the nearly 30 million Americans living with diabetes and 86 million more who have prediabetes and are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. With every American who develops diabetes, another person faces terrible complications, including heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, amputation – and even death.

Our country can’t wait. Tell Congress to help Stop Diabetes®. Taking action today will amplify the voices of advocates on Capitol Hill this week and make diabetes a national priority.

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