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In Recognition Of The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation During National Diabetes Awareness Month

Rep. Gerald D. Kleczka

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring to the attention of this body an organization that is leading the fight against a disease that debilitates and claims the lives of millions of Americans each year.

The statistics regarding diabetes are appalling. On average, the disease kills one American every three minutes. Sixteen million Americans suffer from the disease; of those, 5.4 million are undiagnosed. And, it should be known that taking insulin does not cure the disease or prevent the development of complications.

Tragically, diabetes strikes people of all ages. And it is a costly medical and financial burden. The average lifetime cost of diabetes care for a person diagnosed at age 3 is calculated at $600,000.

In this regard, we look to groups such as the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International (JDF), a non-profit, non-governmental organization founded in 1970 by parents of children with diabetes. JDF's mission is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research.

Since its founding, JDF has spent more resources on diabetes research than any other non-profit, non-governmental agency in the world. Volunteers help define research priorities, select grant recipients, lead advocacy efforts, and provide guidance to overall operations.

At least 80 cents of every dollar goes directly to research and education. The Wall Street Journal's Smart Money Magazine name JDF one of the Nation's top 10 charities ``you can trust'' and one of only two charities in the health field.

This year alone, more than 200 research grants and over 110 fellowship and career development awards were granted to scientists in 17 countries throughout the world. In 28 years, JDF has been instrumental in encouraging the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to increase diabetes research funding from $18 million to $415 million annually.

Mr. Speaker, as we recognize November as National Diabetes Awareness Month, I would like to commemorate the outstanding and selfless work of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International.