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How to be an advocate for people with diabetes

Talk to your elected officials
Ask Congress to focus on the importance of funding for diabetes research, prevention, and to find a cure. Check out the ADA’s Action Center to email your reps, or if you want to send them a letter, here’s a good way to start. Feel free to personalize your message of course!

As your constituent, I am writing to urge you to increase funding for diabetes research and prevention as a way to help stop diabetes.

Diabetes funding at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) helps communities thrive by providing money for diabetes-specific research and resources to help translate that science into practice in such a way that can be used in local communities. These results have led to healthier lives for the people reached by these vital programs.

Diabetes is increasing at alarming rates and impacts every community in this country. With this reality, it is vital that Congress do more, not less, to fight diabetes.

You can ask them to support certain bills. Check out the ADA and JDRF for updates on what bills are being put through Congress and how you can support them. Right now, you can write or call your Congressman or Senator and ask them to co-sponsor and vote for the Eliminating Disparities in Diabetes Prevention Access and Care Act, which will help ay for public education and culturally-specific programs to make sure everybody is given an equal shot at preventing diabetes and improve treatment in the communities that already have it.

Fight for other kids with diabetes by asking your Congressmen and Senators to support the FIT Kids Act to support public schools to offer good Phys Ed classes, in order to prevent childhood obesity and decrease the risk for type 2 Diabetes.

Join a local JDRF Chapter
If diabetes is a cause near and dear to your heart, make it a regular date to lend a hand! You can give your time to help plan walks, rides, and other awesome fundraising efforts to support diabetes research.

Hold a school assembly
A ton of people don’t know about diabetes unless it directly affects them. Fill them in on it! Organize a school or class assembly to get them in the know and up to speed. Connect with a teacher who can help you get a space, and snag a few friends to help you organize. If you know someone with diabetes, ask them to speak or if they have any ideas about what you could talk about. Your school nurse would also be great to bring in on the idea - -ask him or her to talk a little about kids with diabetes, and how others might be able to help them out or understand them better. If she could demonstrate using an insulin pump or a blood sugar test, that’d be pretty cool.

Stay Informed
You don’t have to organize a big event or raise a lot of money to support the cause. Just stay up to date on it! There are walks, runs, rides, and fundraisers of all sorts that go on throughout the year that you can get in on. And laws are constantly being passed that could support diabetes funding and research. Read up on diabetes health issues – CFTC, JDRF, ADA, and medical sites are great resources.
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