NEW YORK, May 29, 2007 – The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is proud to announce that recording artist Elliott Yamin will serve as a celebrity advocate for its signature event, “Children’s Congress,” and their “Promise to Remember Me” campaign.
He will also participate in other nationwide and global advocacy programs with JDRF’s chapters throughout the U.S. and international affiliates abroad to create diabetes awareness and support the organization’s mission to move diabetes research towards a cure. Yamin, a 2006 American Idol finalist, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 16 years old.
At Children’s Congress, Yamin’s first official advocacy work with JDRF, he will join 150 child and teenage delegates from all over the U.S. – all diagnosed with type 1 diabetes – in a song performance on the Capitol Lawn on June 18. The “Promise to Remember Me” song and the year-long “Promise to Remember Me” campaign which follows shortly after Children’s Congress, is a plea for Congressional Members to provide increased National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for diabetes research.
“I am honored to have been asked to partner with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and add my firsthand knowledge of type 1 diabetes and opportunities for visibility to their efforts to raise greater awareness of the seriousness of this disease,” said Yamin, who will be taking a break from his heavy touring schedule promoting his self-titled debut album to attend Children’s Congress. “I wholeheartedly support the mission of the Foundation to fund research to accelerate progress towards a cure and hope to serve as a positive role model to all children and adults living with this disease.”
JDRF’s Children’s Congress, one of the most powerful advocacy events on Capitol Hill, has been held every other year since 1999 and become the largest media and grassroots advocacy events held in support of finding a cure for type 1 diabetes. Each child delegate with type 1 diabetes will talk about the personal impact the disease has made on their bodies and their lives. This event is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the selected delegates, who will visit with legislators and administration officials to raise awareness about type 1 diabetes, and participate in personal advocacy at the highest levels of the U.S. government.
“We are thrilled that Elliott Yamin has signed on to work with JDRF as an advocate and share his personal story of living with type 1 diabetes to the millions affected by this disease,” said JDRF President and CEO Arnold Donald. “He captured the hearts of millions of Americans with his vocal talent when he was on American Idol, and we are confident that his rising success as a recording artist in addition to his advocacy work for diabetes research on behalf of JDRF will help us accomplish our goal to find a cure for diabetes.”
Recently, Yamin’s debut album was released on Hickory Records on March 22, and made Soundscan history when it debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts. It made him the highest new artist debut in an independent record label. The album also reached #1 on Billboards’ Independent Charts, selling 96,000 in its first week. Yamin began his first solo tour on May 17th, and will perform throughout the U.S. this summer.
In type 1 diabetes – the most serious and complicated form of the disease that accounts for at least $132 billion in annual health care costs in the U.S. alone – a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, the hormone that enables people to get energy from food. To survive, people with type 1 diabetes must test their blood sugar levels up to four or more times a day by pricking their fingers to draw blood, and then administering insulin through multiple, daily injections, or the use of a continuous infusion insulin pump.
About JDRF: JDRF was founded in 1970 by the parents of children with type 1 diabetes – a disease that strikes children, adolescents, and adults suddenly, makes them insulin dependent for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications. Since inception, JDRF has provided more than $1 billion to diabetes research worldwide. More than 85 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education. JDRF’s mission is constant: to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. For more information please visit www.jdrf.org.