This week, advocates from around the country will convene in Washington, D.C., for the biannual American Diabetes Association® Capitol Hill Advocacy Day. What does it mean to be a Diabetes Advocate? Let’s hear from Association volunteer Michelle, who will be joining us!
My name is Michelle and I’m currently a (SNAP– ED) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Program Assistant and Family Nutrition Educator with the Virginia Cooperative Extension Family Nutrition Program.
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes around 15 years ago. Along with that diagnosis I also received information about the Association from the doctor who began treating me at that time. I was encouraged to get involved with local Association activities and for that I am and will always be grateful. I have learned so much over the years both from my involvement as well as from the doctor who not only treated my diabetes but who also helped me to learn about how it affected me personally and what I needed to do to manage it effectively.
Today I manage my diabetes with an insulin pump and carbohydrate counting. I am also currently a member of the Association’s National Advocacy Committee and its Volunteer Engagement Workgroup. I was the president of the Hampton Roads (Virginia) Community Leadership Board from 2010 until 2013. I have also started a Diabetes Support Group in my local area.
The cost of diabetic complications continues to skyrocket! And like a lot of people, living with diabetes is a burden for me, as there are always prescriptions that need filling, lab tests to be done and frequent medical appointments to keep. However, the absolute worst are the constant hospitalizations due to the complications.
I am worried that I may have to take an early retirement if I cannot keep the hospitalizations to a minimum. I will continue to fight, take my medication and do whatever else is necessary to try and prevent this from happening.
Diabetes knows most of my family members by name. Its complications have already robbed me of several relatives. I am truly TIRED of missing days and weeks at a time, away from both work and my family. If I can’t work, I will not be able to continue to pay for my medications.
Please help us find a cure for this disease and put a stop to the ongoing suffering that it creates. We need funds allocated for continued research and programs.
We cannot do this alone! Together is the only way for us to make this happen. Please join us in our fight!
Just because you’re not joining Michelle on the Hill doesn’t mean you can’t help. Anyone who is affected by diabetes can be an advocate and take part Capitol Hill Advocacy Day from afar.
Please sign our petition to Congress at http://stopdiabetes.com/petition. Together, we can win this battle!
The Association also asks that you join our Thunderclap and dedicate your social media status to help spread the word about our advocacy efforts. By inviting your friends and family to participate we can ignite a dialogue about the importance of preventing, treating and curing diabetes.