Madi Goes to Washington

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 In an effort to Stop Diabetes and the devastating effects of this disease in our community, Madi Dodge,  The American Diabetes Association’s 2011 National Youth Advocate from Milford, Delaware joined more than 200 diabetes advocates from across the country in Washington, DC for the American Diabetes Association’s Call to Congress.  Call to Congress, the Association’s premier national advocacy effort, was held March 9 – March 11, 2011.

Attendees included children and adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, family members of individuals with diabetes, researchers and other health care professionals. All are committed to advocacy efforts at the local, state and national levels. 15 year old  Dodge was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 5.  She has been fighting for a cure ever since.

On March 10th, Dodge and the state level  advocates met with Members of Congress and their staff, including Senator Carper, Senator Coons and Representative Carney, and urged them to support federal funding levels in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 for diabetes research and prevention programs at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the nearly 26 million Americans living with diabetes, more than 56,000 of them are residents of Delaware.  Advocates also urged their Members of Congress to join the Congressional Diabetes Caucuses, which act to educate Members about diabetes and to support legislation that improves diabetes, research, education and treatment. While in Washington, DC, Dodge collaborated with other Call to Congress participants to plan diabetes advocacy efforts back home in their communities.

“Call to Congress brings diabetes advocates from across the country together in the movement to Stop Diabetes and provides them with the opportunity to tell our federal government how important it is to fight this deadly epidemic,” said John Griffin, Jr., the Chair of the Board of the American Diabetes Association. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects that one in three children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime unless our country changes its course . Congress must provide the funding and leadership necessary to invest in research and ultimately save lives.”

Diabetes is a growing epidemic and is taking a devastating physical, emotional and financial toll on our country.  The national price tag for diabetes is at an astounding $174 billion per year and that cost is estimated to almost triple in the next 25 years. Factoring in the additional costs of undiagnosed diabetes, prediabetes and gestational diabetes brings the total diabetes-related cost to $218 billion.

For more information about Call to Congress, please visit www.diabetes.org/CallToCongress.

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