The American Diabetes Association Expands Commitment

Alexandria,
November 27, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Tesch West, ADA's National Youth Advocate, emphasizes the critical need for support and resources

ALEXANDRIA, VA (November 27, 2007) – November is American Diabetes Month and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is recognizing “The Many Faces of Diabetes” by teaming up with their newly selected National Youth Advocate, Tesch West of Utah, and calling attention to the critical needs of youth with type 1 diabetes.

For many years, the ADA has helped families and health care providers manage type 1 diabetes through resources and local programs including ADA’s Diabetes Camps and Family Resource Networks.  Now the ADA expands its commitment to these families by weaving all of its programs and resources for type 1 youth under a new umbrella: Planet D – Explore. Discover. Connect.  Through Planet D, youth with type 1 diabetes will explore and discover new possibilities about themselves and their diabetes while connecting with other children like them.

“The first place kids with type 1 diabetes will experience PlanetD is online at diabetes.org/planetD,” said Tesch West, National Youth Advocate for the ADA.  “This is so exciting for kids with type 1 and will help them gain access to information and get support by talking with other kids who are dealing with the same issues.” 

The Planet D Web site provides a completely safe and secure online environment for youth to leverage diabetes management tools, learn about issues affecting people with diabetes, build personal D-identities and interact with other youth through a variety of social networking opportunities including message boards, personal sharing and online polls.  In the coming months, corresponding pages will be added for parents, educators, ADA Family Resource Network members, and Diabetes Camp attendees as well as additional programs and resources for children affected by type 1 diabetes that are part of the Planet D initiative. 

“One of my biggest priorities as the National Youth Advocate for ADA is to highlight the importance of education,” said West.  “Now, through Planet D, the ADA is doing just that and giving kids with diabetes the opportunity to connect with each other.”

West was diagnosed with type 1 at the age 10 and has been an active volunteer with ADA’s events and programs for many years.  Now as the National Youth Advocate for the American Diabetes Association, West will generate awareness of the seriousness of diabetes, and discuss ADA’s efforts to increase funding for diabetes research to protect people with diabetes against discrimination in school and in the workplace, and to make sure everyone with diabetes has access to affordable, quality health care. Tesch will also be traveling around the country speaking with children and adults alike about the importance of getting involved with the ADA.

For more information on type 1 diabetes or the Planet D initiative, please visit www.diabetes.org/planetd.

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults and accounts for 5% to 10% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.  In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin.  Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar (glucose), starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.


About the ADA
The American Diabetes Association is the nation’s premier voluntary health organization supporting diabetes research, information and advocacy.  Founded in 1940, the Association has offices in every region of the country, providing services to hundreds of communities.  The Association’s commitment to research is reflected through its scientific meetings; education and provider recognition programs; and its Research Foundation and Nationwide Research Program, which fund breakthrough studies looking into the cure, prevention, and treatment of diabetes and its complications.  For more information, visit diabetes.org or call 800-DIABETES (800-342-2383).

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.