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[IP] Editorial about Newt Gingrich and Diabetes Advocacy

Whatever you may think about Newt Gingrich's politics, he was a strong
advocate for diabetes. You may also find the statistics in this editorial

This came from a JDF Advocacy newsletter


A Champion for Medical Research Has Moved On

Gingrich: Some say he was mean, but he was a hero to those with
diabetes and other diseases.

By Mary Tyler Moore, International Chairman of the Juvenile
Diabetes Foundation

[Published Friday, November 13, 1998, on the op-ed page of the
"Los Angeles Times"]

See also: http://www.jdfcure.org/pubinfo/news111398.html

A longtime friend to men, women and children suffering from
debilitating diseases is leaving. A true champion for medical
research will no longer be at the helm. All of us who face a
lifetime with an incurable disease have lost a true crusader in
the fight for finding a cure. Newt Gingrich is stepping down.

Gingrich was criticized and applauded for a great deal during
his reign, but a little talked-about fact is that he led the
charge in securing funding for medical research, research that
could find cures for diseases like cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer's
and diabetes.

While he championed research into all types of diseases, he was
a true hero for diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that affects me
and 16 million other Americans. I bet you think I can control
my diabetes with some diet and exercise and by avoiding sugary
foods. Well, you'd be wrong. I have a type of diabetes that far
too few people are aware of, a type that requires me to take
multiple shots of insulin daily just to stay alive. I have
juvenile, or Type 1, diabetes. Even though it's called
juvenile, don't be confused: It's a disease you never outgrow.
I've had it for more than 30 years.

Gingrich's efforts to make the prevention and cure of diabetes
and its complications a national priority should be applauded.
While many have blamed him for the government shutdown in 1995,
few people know that he, along with Rep. John E. Porter (R-
Ill.) and former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.), helped ensure that the
National Institutes of Health had funding to keep it running.

In 1997, the speaker led the way for a diabetes initiative of
more than $2 billion that included $150 million in new funds
for Type 1 diabetes research, $150 million for diabetes
research in Native Americans and funds for Medicare to cover
items critical to people with diabetes such as blood glucose
testing strips and monitors as well as self-management
education. And in 1998, the speaker, along with the Clinton
administration and key members of Congress, led the way to
increasing the medical research budget for the NIH by $2
billion, the largest increase in NIH history. Another little-
known fact is that $30 million of this new budget will be
devoted to research on autoimmune diseases such as Type 1
diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Diabetes kills one American every three minutes. It affects
children and adults, both genders, every race and ethnic group
and leaves a vicious imprint on those who suffer from it and on
those who love them. Unfortunately, according to a nationwide
survey by Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International, 75% of
Americans do not know how deadly the disease is, and 38%
believe that either insulin cures diabetes or makes it harmless
or they do not know what effect it has. Insulin is not a cure.
Without daily injections of insulin, people like me wouldn't be
alive. Having diabetes means that my life expectancy is
shortened and I am at risk for going blind, losing a limb,
suffering from kidney failure or having a heart attack or

Throughout his tenure as speaker, Gingrich ignited the passion
and fury of many. Although I may seem like an unlikely admirer,
he deserves the praise and admiration of all of us whose lives
are touched by debilitating diseases. The speaker carried the
torch for tens of millions of Americans afflicted with
incurable diseases. We have lost a true crusader. He will be

Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/