Diabetes Advocate: John Beaver
John Beaver’s diabetes advocacy began on two wheels. Three years ago, Beaver, 40, organized and participated in a bicycle ride from Macon, Georgia, to Okmulgee, Oklahoma. The educational project emphasized the history of his tribe, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and the importance of physical activity to combat the diabetes so prevalent in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Beaver is the chief legislative officer for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health.
Beaver’s interests in cycling, philanthropy, and diabetes treatment and prevention soon found an outlet in Tour de Cure®. He has volunteered as a member of the Tulsa Tour de Cure planning committee and serves as team captain for Team Mvskoke, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Tour de Cure team.
Beaver attended Call to Congress in Washington this year, meeting with senators and representatives to make the case for diabetes research and program funding. Beaver also serves on the Association’s American Indian/Alaska Native Diabetes Action Council.
Motivation: “I do not know of an American Indian family untouched by diabetes. There is a lengthy history in my own family. Diabetes should not be a part of anyone’s traditional culture. I dream of a world where Native people do not see diabetes as inevitable.”
Encouraging Words: “While I may not always be the loudest voice in the crowd, I have discovered that I do have a voice informed by lived experiences. The more voices the better. It is the uniqueness of our voices that allows others to identify themselves in the common thread of our stories: the fight against diabetes.”