Hundreds of Diabetes Advocates Arrive in Washington, DC to Urge Congress to Stop Diabetes®

Alexandria,
March 8, 2011

More than 200 volunteer advocates from the American Diabetes Association will meet with their Members of Congress this week, to urge them to support federal funding for diabetes research and prevention programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Federal funding in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 for diabetes is critical in our nation’s response to this epidemic. The diabetes advocates will also ask their Members of Congress to join the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, which acts to educate Members about diabetes and to support legislation that improves diabetes research, education and treatment.

Advocates are coming to Washington, DC for Call to Congress, the Association’s premier national advocacy effort. This year’s Call to Congress is being held March 9 – March 11, 2011. Attendees will include children and adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, family members of individuals with diabetes, researchers and other health care professionals. All are committed to advocacy efforts at the local, state and national levels.

“Call to Congress brings diabetes advocates from across the country together in the movement to Stop Diabetes and provides them with the opportunity to tell our federal government how important it is to fight this deadly epidemic,” said John Griffin, Jr., Chair of the Board, American Diabetes Association. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects that one in three children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime unless our country changes its course. Congress must provide the funding and leadership necessary to invest in research and ultimately save lives.”

Specifically, Association advocates will meet with Members on March 10th to urge Congress to provide $2.209 billion in FY 2012 funding for diabetes research through the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at NIH. Advocates will also ask Congress to support and prioritize vital diabetes prevention activities at the CDC through the efforts of the agency’s Division of Diabetes Translation in next year’s budget. Additionally, advocates will call on Congress to provide $80 million in funding from the Prevention and Public Health Fund that was included in the health care reform statute to scale up the proven, community-based National Diabetes Prevention Program.

Diabetes is a growing epidemic and is taking a devastating physical, emotional and financial toll on our country. Nearly 26 million Americans are living with diabetes and an additional 79 million are estimated to have prediabetes. The national price tag for diabetes is at an astounding $174 billion per year and that cost is estimated to almost triple in the next 25 years. Factoring in the additional costs of undiagnosed diabetes, prediabetes and gestational diabetes brings the total cost of diabetes to $218 billion.

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.