Tester: We must fight diabetes together
Senator pledges to support disease research during Diabetes Awareness Month
(U.S. SENATE) – With the number of Montanans suffering from diabetes doubling since 2000, Senator Jon Tester is reaffirming his support for greater research to treat and cure the potentially deadly disease.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month and Tester, who recently helped reauthorize the Special Diabetes Program to increase diabetes research, wants Senate leaders to keep investing in the initiative that supports the twenty-six million Americans suffering from diabetes.
“Too many Montanans and Americans deal with diabetes every day and we need to step forward to help them lead healthier lives,” Tester said. “Support for diabetes research is a common sense way to not only fight diabetes together, but also to improve our health care system.”
Diabetes can lead to kidney failure, heart disease and stroke, and it cost the United States $245 billion in 2012, a 41 percent increase from 2007.
The Special Diabetes Program is divided into two parts, with one part focused on Type 1 Diabetes and one part working to help Native Americans families, who suffer from diabetes at a rate nearly three times the national average.
Tester in July met with Bozeman’s Finley Cetraro, 7, and Helena’s William Matz, 9, both type 1 diabetic. Cetraro and Matz met Tester through a non-profit organization that brings kids from all 50 states to share their stories with members of Congress.
Tester, a member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services, also recently supported a bill that included a $10 million grant to the diabetes prevention fund and more than $1.8 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to research diabetes and other digestive and kidney diseases.
Tester’s bipartisan letter to Senate leaders Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is available below.