November Is American Diabetes Month
When it comes to diabetes, numbers play a big role. For people who live with the condition, that can mean keeping track of blood glucose levels or counting carbs at meals. But there are also national statistics, and they tell a larger story: Nearly 50 percent of adults in the United States have diabetes or prediabetes, many without knowing it; 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed each year; and diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. That’s why the American Diabetes Association (ADA) launched a campaign called Count Me In, which takes place during American Diabetes Month (November).
Through the campaign, the ADA hopes to encourage people to play an active part in reaching those outside the diabetes community. “In addition to raising awareness, we are asking people to do something,” says Vignesh Clingam, the Association’s chief marketing and digital officer. “Now that you know about diabetes and its impact, take a small step to drive a big change.” Anyone can pledge to help, whether that’s encouraging relatives to take a type 2 diabetes risk test or asking coworkers to donate to diabetes research.
“Count me in for awareness,” says Alex Day, 26, a media relations manager with the ADA. With her pledge, she’ll spread the message that people with diabetes can still thrive. She hopes to encourage others with the disease to share their stories and break the stigma of diabetes. “We all have actions we can take to really create change,” she says.
Josh Fernandez, 26, a marketing strategy coordinator with the ADA, doesn’t have diabetes himself, but his wife, Haley, does. He plans to make a series of pledges. “Count me in to help fund research for a cure. Count me in to talk to my congressman,” he says. “Count me in to share my wife’s story.”
Ultimately, Count Me In will shed light on a condition that affects so many, even as that condition remains largely misunderstood by the public.
“I hope that people understand why these numbers are important to diabetes,” Fernandez says. “Most people know their blood pressure number. But the average person wouldn’t know their blood glucose number.”
Interested in taking part? Visit diabetes.org/countmeinada to learn more, or share your pledge through social media this November with the hashtags #CountMeInADA and #ADM2019.