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If you would like to add your signature to the letter TO BILL GATES,
follow these instructions:

Send a message to:

email @ redacted

The message should contain ONLY your name, where you live and how
long you or your loved one has had diabetes. Here's what mine looks

Michael Robinton, Lily's dad, Palo Alto, CA, Lily - diabetic 7 years
Melissa Howell, North Carolina, diabetic for 12 years

Here is the letter-please feel free to make any comments about how I can
make the letter sound better.  When I started typing this letter I could
have made it 100 pages and still have more to say.  It was also very
important to me to be able to include the feedback that you all have sent me
over the past week.  So if you see some of your own writings in here-it was
done on purpose. :)
Keep in mind that the goal was to hit the high points of Diabetes and show
Mr. Gates and whomever else might receive this letter that diabetes research
and development needs financial help.  Keep an open mind and heart while
reading this-
Thank you,

Hi, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Melissa Howell. I live in a
small town in North Carolina. To an outsider I am just a normal 22 year old
female. There is something that meeting on a face to face basis you would
not recognize about me. I have a disease that effects every bit of my daily
routine.  This disease requires attention every minute of the day. I cannot
wake up in the morning without thinking about it, eat without thinking about
it nor drive without thinking about it. I can not walk to the park with my
child without thinking about it, work out at the gym without thinking about
it, clean the house without thinking about it nor cook dinner without
thinking about it. I can't do anything without thinking about it long and

These are activities that many take for granted. When most people have an
errand to run, they do just that, jump in the car and go. Well for me its a
step by step procedure that must be performed just to be able to drive. I
must first stick my finger with a needle to test how much glucose is in my
blood. Depending on that number I decide if I am ABLE to drive. If I have
too much glucose I must take a shot or other form of treatment to bring my
level down to "normal". If I am too low, I must eat
food-a certain measured amount of food. Then I have to wait for my body to
absorb the glucose in the food before I drive anywhere. Then I must make
sure that I am prepared all the time. I must have my glucose machine with me
at all
times along with things to eat if my glucose drops to low.  I must also have
needles and insulin or other treatment supplies if I go to high.
This is just the beginning of it Mr. Gates. Do you see what myself and 135
million people worldwide must go through everyday just to drive to the
grocery store? Something that most take for granted.  For 12 years I have
been battling a disease that effects an estimated 135 million people
worldwide and 16 million Americans.


This disease affects individuals every second, every minute, every day of
the week, 12 months a year. There is no break. It also shortens lives. The
long term complications of diabetes include blindness, kidney failure, nerve
damage, and vascular disease. Good control is not a guarantee against
developing these complications. I try my hardest to stay under the tightest
control but I am now realizing that even all of the carbohydrate counting of
my foods, even all of the finger sticks I perform daily, all of the shots,
sleepless nights with high or low glucose levels will not prevent me from
these complications.
This disease needs help in its research and development area. The costs to
treat diabetes is outrageous. A lot of people cannot afford to maintain
treatment for this disease.
There is no cure.
None of us have asked for this disease. It was just GIVEN to us. It can
strike anyone at anytime.Your wife, daughter or even yourself might develop
this disease tomorrow and have never done anything to deserve it. I do not
wish diabetes on anyone but those of us who suffer from it have no choice. I
didn't ask for it. I did not do anything to deserve it. It just struck me
and it can strike anyone at any given moment. It will change every second of
a persons life forever as it has mine. Diabetes can be diagnosed at any age
in life.  From infant to elderly. Can you imagine having to give your child
shots everyday? Measuring food, sticking your child's fingers to obtain
blood everyday. How about telling a child that he/she is different from the
other children. Explaining why he may never know what a candy bar tastes
like. How do you comfort a child who is asking why he has diabetes? How do
you explain why his food has to be measured, glucose level checked and a
shot given before he eats anything, and then his glucose level determines if
he can even eat or not.

All that I am asking for in this letter is that you will look at the need
for research in diabetes with an open heart. The death rate from diabetes
has risen by 30 percent since 1980 yet spending on diabetes research has
fallen. There are several areas of research that offer great promise if we
could get the proper funding. 200,000 Americans die every year from
diabetes. Diabetes costs $100 billion in medical care and other expenses
every year. Right now there are several promising avenues towards a cure.
None of this can be accomplished without will or funding.

I applaud your contribution to funding for researching other areas such as
AIDS but diseases with less glamorous
reputations need research dollars too.

Below are some of my friends from the Insulin Pumpers
(email @ redacted ) list.
They are a few of the many out there who have this disease. Some are Type 1
and some are Type 2 and some are a combination of both. Granted the
researchers have come a long way with the treatment of diabetes but we are
still living with this disease on a day to day basis and wanted to make you
aware of the problem. A bigger voice than ours alone is
needed to raise funding for a CURE for this disease and we were hoping it
might be yours.

Sincerely yours,

Melissa Howell (North Carolina, diabetic for 12 years)
Dauna Breiding (Ohio, diabetic for 28 years)
Insulin Pumpers web site http://www.insulin-pumpers.org