Share Your Diabetes Story During the American Diabetes Association’s American Diabetes Month Campaign—#ThisIsDiabetes


Michelle Kirkwood

Alexandria, Virginia
November 1, 2016

New This Is Diabetes™ campaign encourages story sharing to empower people with diabetes and their loved ones, and to raise the level of urgency about the need to address diabetes

Every 23 seconds, someone in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes. It's estimated that one in 11 Americans has the disease—more than 29 million people—and another 86 million have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The numbers alone are staggering, and the people affected by the disease include those who have diabetes and their friends, family, caregivers and communities.

American Diabetes Month®, observed by the American Diabetes Association® (Association) every November, is a time to focus the nation's attention on the many people who are affected by diabetes and to raise the urgency about the need to address diabetes. To help spark a national conversation, the Association is asking people to share their stories about what it truly means to live with diabetes with a new campaign, This Is Diabetes™.

Throughout November, the Association encourages everyone to speak up and spread the word about what diabetes is really like. The social media campaign asks them to declare, "This Is Diabetes," to help educate others, break down stereotypes, correct myths and misunderstandings, and create a sense of urgency about the disease.

"Too often, diabetes goes unnoticed in our society, but it's a health care crisis that needs and deserves all of our attention," said Kevin L. Hagan, CEO of the American Diabetes Association. "Through this year's theme, This Is Diabetes, we want to bring more attention to this disease that affects our family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues and show how important it is to take urgent action to address diabetes and its devastating complications."

By encouraging the use of the campaign hashtag, #ThisIsDiabetes, the Association will create an online gallery to amplify the voices of the diabetes community. Participating in this year's campaign is easy. A free, downloadable sign is available on the campaign website——to help people share their diabetes stories. Participants simply fill in the blank on the sign, take a picture or video and post it to their social media platforms using #ThisIsDiabetes. Stories can also be submitted directly through the American Diabetes Month website. By collecting and featuring these stories prominently on the site and its social media channels, the Association hopes to highlight how people all around us are grappling, often silently, with diabetes—and inspire more people to speak up.

The Association's key campaign components include the personal images and stories of six people impacted by diabetes:

  • Guadalupe, a Mexican American and former federal government employee in Washington, D.C., who now cares for his elderly mother living with type 2 diabetes;
  • Jessica, a Native-American woman also from Washington, D.C., who was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and whose family has been affected by diabetes for several generations;
  • Julie, a mother from Pittsburgh who has been living with type 1 diabetes for nearly two decades and spent 10 years trying to find a physician who would help her have a healthy pregnancy;
  • Robin and Zamaiah, an African-American aunt and niece duo living in Maryland who work together to manage their type 2 diabetes and encourage each other to make healthy choices;
  • Siani, a college student in Philadelphia who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 10 and is navigating the challenges of managing her disease while away at college; and
  • Christina, an Asian-American entrepreneur from Seattle who juggles a hectic career while taking strides to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to effectively manage her type 2 diabetes.

These personal testimonials are combined with personal stories from seven members of Team Tackle, a group of current and former professional football players from across the country who are working with the Association to raise awareness about diabetes. The featured Team Tackle members include Sam Acho (Chicago), Lorenzo Alexander (Buffalo), Duane Brown (Houston), Matthew Hatchette (former player), Dont'a Hightower (New England), Rashad Jennings (New York) and Aaron Murray (Philadelphia). The collection of video stories will be shared throughout the month on the campaign website and on social media.

The Association is pleased to welcome two national sponsors for American Diabetes Month 2016, Medtronic Diabetes® and National Oral Care Strategic Partner Colgate Total®.

"Medtronic is committed to providing diabetes management solutions to help people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes enjoy greater freedom and better health," said Laura Stoltenberg, vice president and general manager, Non-Intensive Diabetes Therapies at Medtronic. "By sponsoring this year's American Diabetes Month campaign, we hope to highlight the unique, unmet needs and challenges of people living with diabetes and health care providers, and to raise awareness of solutions that can help ease the daily burden of this disease."

"People with diabetes are at increased risk for developing gum disease. Oral health is a critical component of diabetes care" said Bill Van de Graaf, vice president and general manager, U.S. Oral Care Marketing, Colgate-Palmolive. "Colgate Total is proud to support the This Is Diabetes campaign to spark a conversation within the diabetes community and raise awareness of the potential link between oral health and diabetes."

The national campaign also employs posters, print ads, social media messages, graphics and local awareness events. More information is available on the This Is Diabetes campaign website,

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)