Over 100 professional football players and diabetes advocates recently met in Washington to join the American Diabetes Association’s Capitol Hill Advocacy Day, where they met with Congress members and staff.
The goal of the meetings was to encourage Congress to increase the funds that pay for diabetes research and programs.
At the press conference, the association showed a petition including over 79,000 signatures to U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME), the co-chairs of the Senate Diabetes Caucus.
"Federal funding for diabetes research and programs is critical for us to make progress -- reducing the incidence of diabetes, advancing the treatment protocols for diabetes, preventing the complications of diabetes and helping continue the quest for a cure," Kevin Hagan, CEO of the American Diabetes Association, said. "We ask Congress to increase funding for diabetes research and programs so together we can improve the health and lives of millions."
The associations and advocates, including children and adults who have type 1 and type 2 diabetes, held over 125 meetings with representatives of Congress. Other advocates included health care professionals and families of people who have diabetes.
The 34 professional football players sought to bring further attention to diabetes, which is one of the top health concerns in the U.S. The players went to Washington to announce the new initiative, named Team Tackle. This initiative is part of the American Diabetes Association and unites the athletes with the group to further heighten awareness about prediabetes and diabetes alike.