Debbie and Mike Zeiden

Debbie and Mike Zeiden’s philanthropic journey began when Mike’s father, Daniel, passed away from complications of type 2 diabetes more than 18 years ago.

The Zeidens, who own a successful retail business, first supported diabetes research in honor of Daniel. They have continued to donate not only as an ongoing tribute to him, but also as a way of improving the lives of the many other people with diabetes they have come to know.

“Diabetes is so prevalent in our country and it is on the rise. It affects more individuals than most people realize,” Debbie said.

“We have friends whose kids have been diagnosed with type 1, and we have seen how the efforts of the American Diabetes Association have helped these families.”

Research is Key

“That is why we feel so strongly about the importance of raising funds for research and for programs that can lead to greater awareness about the disease,” Debbie continued.

“Research is going to find underlying causes that can prevent diabetes or make living with the disease easier for those who are challenged by it. Obviously, a cure would be the ultimate goal and that would be wonderful, but knowing more about the debilitating effects of the disease is also necessary.”

Mike’s passion about the intense need for cutting-edge diabetes research and education programs matches his wife’s.

“Diabetes is an important public health issue because it does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone without warning,” Mike emphasized.

“If a person is diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to make healthy decisions right away,” he continued. “Diabetes takes a heavy toll on the body. In my dad’s case, diabetes led to limb loss,kidney failure, and blindness.”

Mike feels that his dad’s quality of life would have been greatly improved had he made dietary and lifestyle adjustments.

Early Involvement Helps

The Zeidens also believe that the sooner a person becomes involved with diabetes fund-raising and awareness, the better.

“I think some people don’t know how they can become involved,” Debbie said. “They may feel there isn’t really much they can do, but every act of support matters. Many people who help are surprised to learn what a big difference they can make. I want to encourage people to reach out to the ADA by making a phone call and finding ways to help.”

“Unfortunately, there is a strong chance that diabetes will eventually affect someone you know and love. Getting involved can make a difference in the lives of people already affected by diabetes and could also make a positive impact on the life of a friend or loved one in the future,” Mike said.

Mike and Debbie aren’t the only members of their household who champion diabetes research and awareness.

“Our kids are involved in efforts to raise funds for diabetes. It is so important to reach out to the younger generation and encourage them to get involved,” Mike stressed. “And I’m confident that anyone who gets involved with the ADA, no matter their age, will become an ardent supporter and work tirelessly to help this great organization.”