Officials urged to learn about diabetes
This letter was directed to newly elected officials with a copy to the newspaper for publication.
Congratulations on your victory to local and state office representing Queen Anne’s County and District 36. As a constituent and a Diabetes Advocate, I look forward to the opportunity to work with you as you begin your important work in this role.
I’d also like to flag an important observance: November is American Diabetes Month. American Diabetes Month is a time when the entire nation pauses to recognize the heartbreaking and far-reaching impact diabetes has on more than 30 million Americans who are currently living with diabetes and 84 million more who are at risk of developing diabetes.
This year’s theme, Everyday Reality, is meant to ignite a national conversation about what it truly means to live with diabetes. Right here in Maryland, 638,000 adults are living with diabetes, and an additional 1,634,000 have pre-diabetes. The everyday reality of this disease is massive, both nationally and right here at home. My 28-year-old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 27 years ago, and my father, who lives in Cambridge, fights the daily battle against type 2 diabetes. Diabetes doesn’t discriminate.
Moreover, the everyday reality of diabetes is not just the number of people impacted by the disease, but also the significant financial burden faced by those living with diabetes and their loved ones. Diagnosed diabetes carries a price tag of more than $327 billion — yes, BILLION — every year — and this figure is likely to keep climbing as diagnosis rates continue to grow. Here in Maryland, the estimated annual direct cost of diabetes is $4.9 billion and $2.1 billion in indirect cost from loss of productivity due to diabetes. The financial impact of diabetes on our community is expensive.
In recognition of your recent election victory and in observation of American Diabetes Month, I welcome the opportunity to meet with you and connect you with other Diabetes Advocates in this community. Let us help you learn more about this disease and the significant role you can play in creating a better future for the more than 30 million Americans — 12.8 percent of the adult population here in Maryland — living with diabetes.
Again, congratulations — I look forward to working together to prevent diabetes from becoming the everyday reality for millions more. www.diabetes.org
CRYSTAL CRISMOND WOODWARD