Of­fi­cials urged to learn about di­a­betes

Record Observer - - OPINION / NEWS -

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

Stevensville

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