TAMPA, FL – In an effort to Stop Diabetes and the devastating effects of this disease in our community, Rebbecca Goodall, staff attorney in the Tampa office of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, and her daughter, Adrianna Goodall, diabetes advocacy leaders in New Port Richey, Florida, joined nearly 200 Diabetes Advocates from across the country in Washington, DC for the American Diabetes Association’s Call to Congress. Call to Congress, the Association’s premier national advocacy effort, was held March 11 – March 13, 2015.
Attendees included children and adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, family members of individuals living with diabetes, researchers and health care professionals. All participants are deeply committed to diabetes advocacy efforts at the local, state and federal levels. Rebbecca Goodall is a mother of a 6 year old girl who was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 4, this was her first time participating in Call to Congress.
“Call to Congress brings diabetes advocates from across the country together in the movement to Stop Diabetes and provides them with the opportunity to tell our federal government how important it is to fight this deadly epidemic,” said Janel Wright, JD, Chair of the Board, American Diabetes Association. “As diabetes takes a physical and financial toll on this country, federal funding is critical in our nation’s response to this epidemic. Congress must provide leadership and invest in research and prevention programs that will ultimately Stop Diabetes.”
On March 12th, Goodall and the other advocates met with Members of Congress and their staff, including Senator Bill Nelson, Senator Marco Rubio, and Representative Gus Bilirakis, and urged them to support federal funding for diabetes research and prevention programs. Goodall and her daughter, Adrianna, shared their story of what life has been like, living with diabetes over the past two years. Adrianna receives four shots a day and checks her blood sugar at and in between meals as needed. Since her diagnosis in December 2012, Adrianna has pricked her fingers to check her blood sugar over 5,000 times and received over 3,300 shots of insulin. Adrianna told the Congressman what it is like miss out on birthdays and other celebrations at school, or something as simple as a sleepover with friends because of this disease. “It was truly an empowering and humbling experience to watch her flourish into an advocate for herself,” said Goodall, “we were both enlightened just by being there.” Advocates also urged their Members of Congress to join the Congressional Diabetes Caucuses, which educate Members about diabetes and support legislation that improves diabetes, research, education and treatment.
Goodall plans to continue advocating to stop diabetes by attending Advanced School Advocacy Training through the Safe at Schools campaign, helping parents work with Public Schools to provide care for diabetic children. Goodall and her daughter have also created a team to raise funds and awareness for the Step Out Walk in Tampa, which will be held on November 7, 2015. “What happens in D.C. can’t stay in D.C.,” said Goodall, “it’s important that people get and stay involved, visiting with and writing to your Congressmen is just one small step.”
Diabetes is a growing epidemic and is taking a devastating physical, emotional and financial toll on our country. The national price tag for prediabetes and diabetes is at an astounding $322 billion per year. There are nearly 30 million Americans living with diabetes, with more than 2,313,984 of them being residents of Florida. Every year an estimated 108,000 people in Florida are diagnosed with diabetes, costing an estimated $24.3 billion each year. For more information, please visit diabetes.org/congress.
About The American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.