American Diabetes Association Salutes People Who Answer Call to Serve

April 8, 2009

Thousands of volunteers have answered the call to serve by fighting the greatest public health crisis of the next quarter century – diabetes. In recognition of National Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 19-25, 2009), the American Diabetes Association wants to recognize the countless hours its volunteers commit to the fight against diabetes.

If current trends continue, one in three children born today will develop diabetes in their lifetime. American Diabetes Association volunteers help to stem the tide of this disease by raising money for research, fighting discrimination, and educating their communities about diabetes and its complications.

"American Diabetes Association volunteers have made a critical contribution over the past two decades in reducing the rate of undiagnosed diabetes from 50 to 30 percent. We have made a difference in reaching the undiagnosed; more people are out there with a fighting chance to take care of themselves," said George J. Huntley, CPA, Chair of the Board. "Our reach is far greater because of the countless hours that our volunteers give each year."

Below are a few of the American Diabetes Association volunteers who are involved in the fight against diabetes and featured in the April 2009 issue of Diabetes Forecast. A salute to other Association volunteers, including personal stories from around the country, can be found here.

Samuel Dagogo-Jack, MD, MBBS, MSc, FRCP, Memphis, TN

Professor of Medicine and former American Diabetes Association Mentor-based postdoctoral fellow, associate editor of Diabetes Care, member, Memphis Community Leadership Board.
In addition to reviewing research papers for academic journals, he also plays a role in local fundraising and education efforts.
Dagogo-Jack's children participated in American Diabetes Association events growing up and still volunteer today. "They've got the philanthropy spirit," he said.

Kenna Mitchell, Tulsa, OK

Communications chair, Eastern OK.
She was 20 when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. After leaving TV for a communications job, she began volunteering more of her free time to the American Diabetes Association.
"It's not just talking about diabetes when you have an event. It's a year-round thing you can do," she said.
Greg Paul, JD, Pittsburgh, PA

Chair, advocacy committee; former chair, Pittsburgh Community Leadership Board.
Paul was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 28, while attending law school. He now practices employment and disability law, and works with the American Diabetes Association to educate other lawyers about advocating for people with diabetes.
"I'm amazed when my clients say, ‘It's not about the money – it's about making tomorrow better.' When you're able to make the law better, that's very rewarding," he said.

About the American Diabetes Association

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)