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[IPk] Fw: 1,500 Diabetes Advocates Converge In Washington, D.C. Urging Congress to Fund a Cure; Advocates Present 3.2 Million Signatures in Support of $1 Billion Research Budget

>> 1,500 Diabetes Advocates Converge In Washington, D.C. Urging Congress to
>> Fund a Cure; Advocates Present 3.2 Million Signatures in Support of $1
>> Billion Research Budget  <<...>> 
>>  <<...>> March 22, 2000    <<...>>  WASHINGTON, March 21 /PRNewswire/ via
>> NewsEdge Corporation -  Fifteen hundred concerned citizens, including
>> hundreds of children, a former Miss America and an Olympic gold medallist,
>> converged in Washington, D.C. today urging Congress and President Clinton
>> to fully fund diabetes research at $1 billion this year. Advocates
>> presented 3.2 million signatures, the largest number ever collected on a
>> health care issue, in support of the recommendations of an independent,
>> blue- ribbon panel established by Congress that called for a $1 billion
>> diabetes research budget at the National Institutes of Health.  
>> "Diabetes is deadly and kills one American every three minutes," said
>> Association Chair of the Board Ed Hawthorne of Fairfield, Calif. "But for
>> some reason, diabetes is not taken seriously. It's time our elected
>> leaders paid attention to diabetes and the need to fund a cure."  Sixteen
>> million Americans have diabetes and each year nearly 200,000 die from it.
>> ADA leaders say that even though diabetes kills four times more people
>> than AIDS and breast cancer combined, the government spends six times more
>> money on AIDS and breast cancer research than diabetes.  
>> "Last year I traveled 250,000 miles talking with people with diabetes and
>> sharing stories about the need to make finding a cure for diabetes a
>> national priority," said Miss America 1999 Nicole Johnson. "If Congress
>> and President Clinton think diabetes isn't serious -- that it doesn't
>> kill, maim and scar thousands of Americans every single day of the year --
>> then they haven't walked in my shoes."  After the Rally, participants met
>> with Members of Congress and shared their personal stories of living with
>> diabetes, the fear of deadly complications and the toll diabetes imposes
>> on their families.  "Diabetes has changed my life," said two-time Olympic
>> gold medallist Gary Hall Jr., a world-record-holding swimmer now preparing
>> for the 2000 games in Sydney. 
>> "One year ago at the age of 24, I was diagnosed with insulin- dependent
>> diabetes. It definitely hasn't tampered with my spirit, and although I
>> have to be extra careful, my health is strong. But I've met many people
>> who have not been so lucky. That's why I'm here -- to urge Congress and
>> President Clinton to listen to the scientists and fully fund diabetes
>> research at the $1 billion level this year."  The Washington, D.C. rally
>> drew a considerable presence from the Latino population, which is
>> disproportionately affected by the disease. Latinos are almost twice as
>> likely to have type 2 diabetes. "Community-based organizations are
>> critical players in any program for Latinos," said Raul Yzaguirre,
>> President & CEO of the National Council of La Raza. "While other diseases
>> affecting the Latino community have received more attention, the real
>> silent killer of Latinos is diabetes. We applaud ADA for its work in
>> diabetes and we are committed to helping them reach out to the Latino
>> community nationwide."  
>> The Washington, D.C. rally was also the largest gathering ever of young
>> Americans affected by diabetes. Clare Rosenfeld, from Eugene, Oregon, was
>> named the Association's National Youth Advocate for 2000 and helped
>> present the 3.2 million signatures in support of a cure to Congress.  "I
>> am 13 years old and have had diabetes for six years," said Rosenfeld, who
>> collected more than 3,000 of the signatures. "Diabetes is serious, but the
>> scientific experts agree that greater government spending on research
>> would help lead to a cure. That's why it's my goal to involve America's
>> young adults affected by diabetes in this campaign for a cure."  Diabetes
>> is an incurable set of serious diseases that affects the body's ability to
>> produce or respond properly to insulin, a hormone that allows blood sugar
>> to enter the cells of the body and be used for energy. It is the country's
>> sixth deadliest disease and leads to heart attacks, stroke, kidney
>> failure, blindness and amputations.  
>> The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to find a cure for
>> diabetes. In the last five years the Association has recruited 75,000
>> "diabetes advocates," improved health insurance coverage, reduced
>> discrimination and increased government funding for research. For more
>> information, call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit ADA's advocacy
>> web site at http://www.diabetes.org/advocacy.  SOURCE American Diabetes
>> Association  CONTACT: Patrick McCabe or Sharon Reis of Garrett Yu Hussein,
>> 202-745-5100, for American Diabetes Association; or Joe LaMountain of
>> American Diabetes Association, 703-283-6301  Web site:
>> http://www.diabetes.org/advocacy 
>> Adrian Gut
>> Market Research Manager
>> MiniMed Marketing
>> Phone: 818 362 5958, x2935
>> Fax:      818 364 2285
>> E-mail:  email @ redacted

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