November is American Diabetes Month
One in eleven Americans has diabetes and every 23 seconds someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with the disease. Diabetes causes more deaths than AIDS and breast cancer combined, and eighty-six million Americans are at risk for diabetes. These facts are shocking and unfortunately funding for research to prevent, manage, and cure the disease has decreased. However, November is National Diabetes Month, a time to bring awareness and focus to the disease, those who have it, and what can be done to help. Thankfully, in addition to the American Diabetes Association (@AmDiabetesAssn), there are many organizations working tirelessly to improve the lives of those with diabetes and prevent others from having it.
American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association is the only organization committed to helping children and adults with all types of diabetes, as well as those at risk. Through the tireless efforts of thousands of volunteers and staff across the country, they dedicate themselves to improving the lives of all those affected by diabetes, and to one day finding a cure.
While the Association works to fulfill their vision year round, American Diabetes Month is an important element in their effort to focus our nation’s attention on the disease and the tens of millions of people affected by it. President Jimmy Carter’s administration was the first to observe National Diabetes Week and then in 1982, President Reagan became the first to designate a month-long awareness observation for diabetes. Today National Diabetes Month is observed every November.
2016 American Diabetes Month Theme and Social Media Campaigns
In order to bring more understanding to the disease and a glimpse into the lives of those affected by it, the theme for 2016 is This Is Diabetes. The campaign invites people to share their stories “to capture the authenticity of those who understand this disease best.” Whether it’s a photo, video, or story participants are encouraged to share them on any social media outlet using the hashtag #ThisIsDiabetes.
— Amer. Diabetes Assn. (@AmDiabetesAssn) October 31, 2016
In addition to #ThisIsDiabetes, the American Diabetes Association also launched another social media campaign at the end of September to raise awareness about the impact of diabetes and to empower people across the U.S. to get moving. #DiabetesDanceDare encourages people to record and share a video of themselves dancing via Instagram or Twitter and challenge others to dance and donate to the Association. The video must be 23 seconds long in order to highlight the statistic that someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with diabetes every 23 seconds. Celebrity chef, weight loss expert and best-selling author Devin Alexander kicked off the challenge and several famous athletes and stars followed suit.
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) October 2, 2016
Diabetes Research Connection
Early career scientists have made some of the world’s greatest discoveries, however today most of the funding that is available goes to established scientists with mainstream approaches. Believing in new ideas and innovation, the Diabetes Research Connection (@diabetesrsrch) created a platform to connect donors with promising early-career scientists whose ideas are encouraged and supported by expert scientists. Projects are reviewed by a volunteer expert panel and rated according to DRC’s high standards. Selected projects are presented and described on the DRC website and donors are able to choose which project to support. Updates are reported throughout the process and the outcomes are added to the body of diabetes knowledge. During the month of November you can double your donation dollars. In support of National Diabetes Month for every dollar donated to the General Fund in the month of November, DRC will match 100%, up to $25,000.
YMCA’S Diabetes Prevention Program
For more than ten years now Ys (@ymca) across the country have helped thousands of people reduce their risk for developing type 2 diabetes with their Diabetes Prevention Program. Over the course of a year participants meet with a trained lifestyle coach during 25 one-hour sessions to learn how to eat healthier, increase their physical activity, and lose weight. The program sets two main goals for participants: lose 5–7% of their body weight and gradually increase physical activity to 150 minutes per week. Research has shown that YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can reduce the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes by as much as 58% and by 71% among adults aged 60 years or older. Find out if you’re at risk and if so enroll in a program near you.