National Advocacy Committee Member: Michelle Foster
Location: Virginia Beach, Va.
She’s a program assistant and family nutrition educator for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, and lives with type 2 diabetes, which she manages with an insulin pump and carb counting. She’s a member of the ADA’s National Advocacy Committee and its Volunteer Engagement Workgroup. In 2013, she was the president of the Hampton Roads Community Leadership Board. She has been local advocacy chair and a Call to Congress attendee.
How she started: She got information about the ADA 13 years ago from her doctor. “At that time I was not real receptive to being a diabetic. I was fighting her at every corner,” Foster says. “She happened to give me an invitation to an event [a gala] they were having. I did go, and I really realized [diabetes] doesn’t have to be a death sentence. It doesn’t have to be your grandmother’s diabetes.” Foster signed up that evening to get involved with the ADA, has served on every committee in her local market, and was the Live Empowered chair for five years running.
Encouraging words: “Everybody has a story. The more you talk, the more you help, the more you want to tell, and the more you want to help. Sharing that story is the first step.”