Queens, New York Advocate, Shani Faure, Joined More than 180 Diabetes Advocates, Researchers
Ms. Shani has been a consistent advocate for the American Diabetes Association since 2009. She saw the sense of urgency after being misdiagnosed with Type 2 for two years when she actually was living with Type 1 diabetes. As a person living with diabetes she has struggled in the workplace, been without insurance, and has had (DKA) diabetic ketoacidosis. Currently she uses her public relations and event production company Stilettos and Sounds to work with other advocates and entertainers to spread awareness and raise funds. She also uses her coaching company On Point Like a Stiletto LLC as a certified life/executive coach to help people with chronic illnesses achieve balance for wellness through meditation and stress management. She also provides asset management services and helps them make sure their wills are in order so their families are protected.
The advocates, including adults and children living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, family members of people with diabetes, researchers, physicians and diabetes care providers, participated in 188 meetings with their members of Congress and urged them to address the diabetes epidemic. In addition to people with diabetes and health care providers, advocates included more than 30 members of Team Tackle — an initiative to engage professional football players to raise awareness of diabetes and prediabetes.
During the March 30th press conference, the Association outlined the state of the diabetes epidemic and called on Congress to protect access to adequate health insurance for people living with diabetes, to increase federal funding to support and drive diabetes research and programs, and to ensure that lifesaving insulin is accessible for all who need it. The Association remains dedicated to protecting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) from repeal without an immediate replacement that provides equal or greater coverage and protections for people with diabetes.
"Every 23 seconds another American is diagnosed with diabetes. If diabetes were a communicable disease, it would be the headline in every newspaper and the lead story on every channel," said LaShawn McIver, MD, MPH, senior vice president of advocacy for the American Diabetes Association. "Ms. Faure and other local advocates helped to put a face to this epidemic and, by sharing their personal stories, to tell Congress that the time to act is now."
Also at the press conference, the Association delivered its "Make Insulin Affordable" petition, signed by more than 235,000 people since November 2016, to Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), co-chairs of the Senate Diabetes Caucus. The high cost of insulin has impacted many Americans. The Association recognizes that the affordability issue is a complex one, and the insulin supply chain includes many entities. The Association asked for Congress' help to work with all of the stakeholders in the supply chain to identify the catalysts for the cost increases and to create viable solutions for all Americans who depend on this life-saving medicine.
With potential threats to federal funding for critical health care prevention programs, the Association asked Congress to:
• Provide $2.165 billion to the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the primary federal agency that conducts research to find a cure and advance treatments for diabetes;
• Allocate $185 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Diabetes Translation, which spearheads essential efforts to reduce risk, complications, treatment and management of diabetes while also continuing innovative translational research and surveillance;
• Support $25 million for the National Diabetes Prevention Program, an evidence-based lifestyle intervention program proven to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
"Every research project leads us one step closer on the long, winding and unpredictable journey to unlocking key information that arms us to battle the diabetes epidemic," said the Association's Chief Scientific, Medical and Mission Officer William T. Cefalu, MD. "We continue to learn the importance of translating findings from research to clinical practice. This critical information is helping us to change the trajectory of diabetes and its devastating complications. We have seen that investing in biomedical research and 'proof of concept' studies years ago has led to the tremendous technological advances we see today. Continued, sustained investment in biomedical research at the federal level is the only way forward in finding a cure for this disease."
Illustrating the urgency and desire for action, the Association is proud to now have more than 480,000 diabetes advocates, more than 188,000 who have joined within the last year. Through Shani's consistent advocacy efforts she was featured in the Huffington Post and has raised several funds towards the prevention, cure, and maintenance of diabetes.
I will continue to take "Sweet Steps" to stand up to stop diabetes for those living with it and affected by this epidemic on a daily basis. I will continue advocating in Jamaica, NY to make insulin affordable. - Shani A. Faure, CMP
About the American Diabetes Association
More than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and every 23 seconds another person is diagnosed with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (Association)